Tonight was Omar Gonzalez's coming out party. L.A. Galaxy fans have known for a few years about the talent and skill of the defender, and now the rest of world knows that the U.S has a star at centerback. Gonzalez was exceptional turning away attack after attack as the U.S. earned a gritty, never say die, 0-0 draw at the historic Estadio Azteca.
There were doubts going into the week as Klinsmann brought in a relatively unproven, back line. Heads were scratched as U.S. mainstay and captain Carlos Bocanegra was not called in, but the defense proved more than capable. Geoff Cameron was solid on the right hand side showing the skill that he displayed at the Houston Dynamo before earning a transfer to Stoke. Matt Besler of Sporting Kansas City started alongside Gonzalez on the inside and played exceptional in only his second appearance for the U.S. In his 99th cap, Demarcus Beasley played on the left and after earning a yellow card early, he settled in and played tough, getting battered and bruised throughout the game. The defense never wavered and turned in a heroic performance.
Brad Guzan turned in a stellar performance in goal, fueling the debate that he may be the top U.S. goalkeeper at the moment. Guzan showed no fear as he came off his line to crush a ball late in the first half while thwarting the Mexican attack. Guzan came up huge late as deflecting an endless barrage of corner kicks to preserve the U.S. victory.
The U.S. had few chances in the attacking third and failed to convert on a few set pieces. The U.S. knew they would have few chances and did not convert when opportunity presented itself, however the midfield was organized and helped maintain possession and disrupt the pace of El Tri throughout the game.
There will be several story lines in the following days but one thing is for sure; Omar Gonzalez will be a starter for the U.S for years to come. The only question is how much longer will he play for the L.A. Galaxy?