LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez made news last night, departing United States national team camp to pursue a loan opportunity. Today we know where he went. According to FC Nürnberg's website, the 23-year-old defender will join the Bundesliga club for a short-term loan through mid-February.
Nuremberg has several American players at various levels in their organization including USMNT defender Timothy Chandler. Jann George plays on their U23 team, while Antonio Matarazzo and Tyrone McCargo are on their U19 roster.
The news of Gonzalez withdrawing from US camp came as a bit of a surprise to some after he recently made noise in the media about not getting an opportunity to play for the national team. Country-before-club proponents can rattle their sabres all they want, but club football pays the bills and Gonzalez has every right to peruse whatever opportunities are available to him. With only one year left on his contract with the Galaxy, there's been plenty of speculation about his future in MLS.
A solid performance during his loan with Nuremberg could open doors for a possible transfer in the summer. Nürnberg chairman Martin Bader said in the club's statement that they had hoped to make a move for the defender in the summer, but the opportunity arose to acquire Gonzalez came sooner than expected. It certainly feels like an extended trial and a clear message of intent from Gonzalez about his desire to ply his craft outside of MLS.
Gonzalez joined Der Club today in Turkey for training and is eligible to make his debut for Nürnberg on Jan. 21 against Hertha Berlin. Nürnberg is currently in 15th place in the Bundesliga, only two points out of the relegation zone and in desperate need of defensive help to improve their -11 goal differential.