After weeks of rumors suggesting it would happen, the LA Galaxy officially announced Omar Gonzalez has re-signed with the team and will become their third Designated Player. In doing so, he becomes just the second defender in MLS history to earn a DP contract and the first American defender to do so.
"We are thrilled that Omar has chosen to remain with the Galaxy and Major League Soccer for years to come," CEO of AEG Dan Beckerman said in a team release. "Omar's commitment is a clear indication of our continued appeal as a destination for top soccer talent."
Gonzalez reportedly had other offers from elsewhere in the world, but chose to remain in MLS apparently with the blessing of United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Over the past couple years, Gonzalez has become a stalwart for the U.S. defense, often pairing with Sporting Kansas City center back Matt Besler, who also recently signed an extension to remain in MLS.
While no details of the contract were made public -- as is standard in MLS -- the minimum value would likely need to be in the neighborhood of $450,000 a year in order to count as a DP contract. The expectation has long been that the Galaxy would use the roster spot on a high-profile attacking player, but they apparently feel as though keeping Gonzalez around is a better use of the limited source.
ESPN stat guru Paul Carr offered this compelling reason: