IAm Omar Gonzalez, Centerback for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Member of the US Men’s National Team. AMA.
I am Omar Gonzalez, centerback for the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS. Last month, I was chosen to represent the US as a member of the Men’s National Team. Recently, I became a featured athlete on Thuzio.com through which you can book me for an number of memorable, personal experiences.
I was the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, am a 2x MLS Cup winner (2011, 2012), the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year and the 2012 MLS Cup Most Valuable Player.
Ask me anything.
1:04 PM PT UPDATE Thank you everyone for an amazing afternoon. This was a lot of fun and I am honored to see so many supportive redditors for me, our teams and our sport. Gotta practice. You can find me on Twitter @Omar4Gonzalez and on Thuzio.com. Hit me up some time! Thanks again!
I can confirm this guy is legit.
What are you doing in this picture?
I was showin' off the goods
Everyone seems throughly impressed ;)
I mean, everyone's eyes got pretty big
How intimidating was it the first time Tim Howard started shouting at you? That man is intense.
Thanks for doing this! I support the Rapids, so I'm glad you play for the USMNT so that I can still cheer for you from time to time. The match in Denver was insane and we had so much fun!!
EDIT: Come on over to /r/MLS some time. Great group of people!
I definitely wasn't used to that. It was definitely a surprise, but its nice to have a keeper who's so vocal and gets you in the right places.
Thank you for the support!
Hey Omar, Since we're both defenders, will you be my best friend?
how much do you hate the san jose earthquakes?
I really badly dislike them.
Hello Omar, son of Tom Payne here, just wanted to say thanks for the great years and memories you've given the city of LA and more personally to myself and my father! Hope all is well, I like seeing you bossing the defense for the US as well!
EDIT: for proof
Thanks, Dylan! Appreciate your kind words and tell your dad I said hello. Good luck in your upcoming college season!
Thank you for doing this Omar! 2 questions,
1) What was it like stepping on the field for your first international cap with the US team?
2) What was it like to play in Azteca for the first time?
No problem. It was really incredible to go through the National Anthem wearing your country's colors, and it was an incredible experience. Stepping into Azteca really takes your breath away and there is nothing like playing in front of 100,000 fans.
Hey Omar... Terp here...
who do you consider the most talented college player you ever played with? For me, Maurice Edu was the best player I've ever seen in the college game.
Going into college, playing against Charlie Davies my freshman year - he might have scored two against us. Ever since then, it got a little easier.
Hi Omar, you're my favorite USMNT player and a big hero of mine as a Mexican-American. What went in to your decision to play for the USMNT instead of El Tri? Who was your most intimidating opponent as in one particular player, and then the most intimidating club as a whole? Is playing in a place like Honduras scarier than El Azteca because it's not such a massive wall of sound?
Well, I was born in the US. I've made a living for myself in the US and love everything about this country. So it really wasn't a hard choice. It's an honor to play for this county.
Messi for player. Most intimidating club. Barcelona or Real Madrid.
It was a lot tougher to play in Honduras because of the heat and poor field conditions. Fans were really crazy as well. Those three things combined made it really difficult to play in Honduras.
I see you like playing in the kitchen & Giada is a fan of yours, do you tell your kitchen "Omar's comin'" and yell "Omar Smash!" when you're cooking?
I do not yell "Omar's coming" at any point in my day. Well, sometimes but not in the kitchen.
Hey, congrats on the great performance in Azteca.
1) What was the general reaction, if any, to the sporting news article that was critical of Klinsmann right before the Costa Rica match?
Obviously that created a lot of buzz - I think that was the article's purpose. But it really didn't affect the team other than probably making us a little closer and it showed with great performances against Costa Rica and Mexico.
I just want to say that you are an absolute beast and I love having you on the USMNT. Although one week a year, I have to hate/respect you. (Chicago Fire fan)
It's a shame we're not going to Chicago this year, as I always get lucky with a goal in Chicago
always love visiting in Chicago...shoutout to Al's Beef
What is your favorite MLS city to visit?
There are several, Portland, NY, Dallas and Seattle
Do you have any plans/aspirations to play in Europe in the future?
Yes, I do have aspirations to play in Europe, I just need to wait for the right opportunity.
Huge fan, Omar! Just one question. Who is an up and coming American player that you think has the biggest potential?
I think that would be my Galaxy teammate José Villarreal. He's playing really well right now and I want to see him continue in that path and hopefully be an influential player for the US one day.
Thanks for doing this. I am going to attend my first USMNT game this June against Germany.
What do you think of the US fanbase? What do you think makes our fans great, and what could we do better? How do you see soccer growing in the next ten years?
I always knew that we had committed and passionate fans and I saw another glimpse of that in Denver when people were there cheering us on. I heard quite a few fans traveled both there and to Mexico to see us.
What can get better? Have some really good chants. I love the ones you have, but let's add some new ones in the mix.
Just in the past 5 years i think we've seen an exponential growth in the US and I only see it getting bigger. Our football is getting better and fans around the world are taking notice.
Thanks so much for the response! You have a bright future in MLS, with the national team, and beyond. Can't wait to see you in the qualifiers and (fingers crossed) in Brazil in 2014.
Thank you. My pleasure.
Hey Omar, thanks for doing this.
Did you enjoy the media circus that came with David Beckham? Or is it a relief that he's no longer with the club?
I always enjoyed the "circus." It made it a lot of fun. We sold out stadiums wherever we went. Fans loved seeing us play. There was never a dull moment. I can say that people miss David here in LA too.
Omar, have you ever been totally star struck when meeting another player? (a certain british gentleman comes to mind)
Thanks for doing the AMA!
I remember being star struck the very first time I met him in the training room and I was a little embarrassed after that.
Does everybody on the Galaxy know the difference between grapefruits and oranges now?
AJ Delagarza still struggles a bit, but we are helping him
Hey Omar! Thanks for doing this. Whats the toughest forward you've ever played against, and why? Was it because he was pacey, or bullish, skillful or direct?
The toughest forward was Messi in a friendly in The Rose Bowl, well he was Messi
1) As a relatively young defender, what players do you admire?
2) I'm glad you chose to play for USA, but I imagine it's a bit of a struggle for players with dual-citizenship and Mexican descent. What made you decide to play for USA ?
I admire any top centerback in the game from Ferdinand to Piqué to John Terry. Guys that have been doing it for a long time. From the American Side Ive always looked up to Carlos Bocanegra and Gregg Berhalter who was a big influence in my game.
It's pretty easy when Mexico doesn't call you up at all. Makes it a pretty easy choice!
So do you guys make jokes about Mike Magee looking like Bradley Cooper? Or is that just a fan thing? What are some of your favorite nicknames for your teammates in LA?
it's always funny about Mike Magee being Bradley Cooper, it's always a good time, and he always says he doesn't know who Bradley is.
Have you heard of the greatest website ever: fuckyeahomargonzalez.tumblr.com??
that's a great tumblr, I just checked it out...awesome!
Which players have been the biggest influence on how you play?
...And what does David Beckham smell like?
like Calvin Klein
Omar, what is your favorite spot to hang out in LA?
manhattan beach when it's nice out, please don't stalk me
Hi Omar! Another fellow Terp here-I was a sophomore when you guys won in 2008 :)
My question is - are you still in contact with Sasho? And do you think he'll ever make the move to MLS?
Yes, I still am in contact with Sasho. I think he has aspirations with doing good things, but I don't see him ever leaving Maryland. AND DUCK FOOK!
My question is, what was your favorite team growing up? Favorite player growing up?
And I just want to say you're a god among men for your performance at the Azteca. Thank you for that!
I didn't really have either, to be honest. I was always outside playing soccer or being active. I wish I'd watched a lot more than I did back then.
Thank you, but it was really a great team effort.
How long until the U.S. gets a World Cup huuuhhhhh?
the sooner the better! we always want to win, we want to do better every single year...we've been doing a lot better in getting soccer off the ground in the United States, it'll take some to grow, taking the right steps.
only a handful of countries that have won the World Cup
How is Robbie Keane settling in?
He's been here almost 2 years, so I'd say he's settling in just fine. He's played a couple of pranks on me now. Cut my shirt in half once. I'd say he's really comfortable.
Have you ever played in weather worse than what you and the USMNT experienced in Denver against Costa Rica (in an official match)?
never experienced that much snowfall before in a match
What happened in the second half of the CCL game at home against Monterrey?
I'm still trying to figure that out myself.
And trust that it'll be fixed and we'll do better in Monterrey.
When playing away games which home team has the most intimidating fans?
Portland and Seattle, KC is up there too...
Be honest, how great is it to have THE Mike Magee on your team?
it's awesome, but if I told you stories, I might have to kill ya
As an Earthquakes fan, I gotta ask one question. How long did it take you to get into the California Clasico? What was the defining moment to make you dislike this team more than others?
Thanks for answering these questions!
I definately don't dislike you more than I dislike the Chivas.
Thanks for doing this man. I have a few questions, you don't have to answer them all.
-If you could move to an English side, who would it be?
-What do you think was most vital in getting your professional career, eg. Eating healthy, or you are just ruthless in defence?
-What was your favourite game of all time?
I wouldn't want to throw one team out there in case they are reading this!
Just a lot of hard work. I trained a lot as a kid and always wanted to get better. I wasn't always the best on the field but I stuck to it and kept getting better.
Any of the championship games I played in - the college championship game was very special at that time in my life and the MLS ones have been special as well.
Do you play FIFA? If so, is there a chance of a quick match vs you...
yup, request it on http://www.thuzio.com/omar-gonzalez.html
What trophy is your "white whale"?
Champions League Trophy
If you were to play any sport outside of soccer, what would that be?
I've been doing a lot of beach volleyball lately. So I'll go with that.
Hey Omar, what did you think of Landon Donovan's mini-retirement and subsequent return to the field? Did you have a problem with the way it all went down at all?
It was interesting but I fully supported my teammate, my friend, and if it was a break he needed, then who am I to say otherwise? I know I can speak for myself and the rest of the team that we are more than happy that he is back.
Who is the best player you have ever played with? Against?
best players were the friendlies against Real Madrid and Barcelona
favorite candy bar?
I don't eat too much candy, I like snickers ice cream bars
How did you spend your first pro paycheck? Any crazy purchases?
I bought a car! my first car was a Volkswagen CC
What is your favorite way to pass the time outside soccer?
My favorites: movies, new restaurants, cooking...oh by the way, check out http://www.thuzio.com/omar-gonzalez.html
Will you please make sure the US makes the World Cup?
I will do my best
What beer do you prefer?
I do enjoy beer once in a while, but recently I found out I can no longer have yeast products
Any pre-match rituals?
Favorite food place in LA?
pre-match rituals same music, same underwear, same socks, some way to tie my shoes...start off classical music, then rap and dubstep
bouchon osterio labuca
Assuming you're in camp for the next set of WCQs... what's a guy gotta do to get you to come out for a Battle Slugs tournament with some supporters in Seattle?
Depends. What the hell's a Battle Slugs tournament? Does Thuzio offer that?
It's my birthday today. can you wish me a happy birthday?
Coming from a young, devoted athlete, what type of advice can you give to get noticed by a college coach?
train hard everyday, you never know who's watching
Do you think there is any chance you'll play in Mexico in the future?
It's a possibility.
In WCQ, what venue has the most hostile crowd against the USMNT? And what kind of verbal abuse do you receive while on the pitch there?
I think we've played in both of the most hostile places: Honduras and Mexico. I really dont pay attention to what the crowd is actually saying because I am so focused on the game.
Hey OG4! What was it like scoring the equalizer against Houston? Also, do you think there was a significant change in your game after your injury?
It was incredible to score the tying goal in the final and even wweeter to win back-to-back championships.
I think my game changed. I think I became a better player. I worked on a lot of things while I was injured and I think it improved all parts of my game.
So what was it like living in Montgomery Hall at UMD? My best friend lived in the same suite as you guys, and I moved in after you guys (or at least your teammates, I'm not sure if you lived there). The rest of my suitemates and I took advantage of the Rt. 1 lookout by launching water balloons out of the window.
On a more serious note, which Terps are still your best friends, and since Maurice, Graham and you are now regulars for the national team, which Terp do you think will crack the national team next?
Living in Montgomery Hall was amazing. I miss College Park. I think i launched a few water balloons at College Park myself. I am still very close with UMD buddies in the league & abroad.
Is there any sort of event or person that made you decide you wanted to pursue a career in the sport?
Ever since I was a young kid, playing soccer is what I wanted to do. I tried other sports, but my heart stuck with soccer and I'm happy that it did.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
see other question, btw I hate Duke
Hi Omar! I was so excited to see you doing this AMA! What is one piece of advice you would give to children/young adults about pursuing their dreams of being college/pro soccer players? And what are your favorite things to do BESIDES play soccer (obviously)! Thanks for being here!
never settle, there's always room for improvement, keep on working hard, when opportunities come, take it
Omar, what made you choose the USMNT over the Mexico National Team?
Good work last week.
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