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Gonzalez: Present and Future

If Sunday's NCAA final was, indeed, Maryland defender Omar Gonzalez's final collegiate game, here is how he experienced the final seconds:

"Right when that final whistle blew, I just stopped, I didn't go anywhere, I just took it all in, I saw everyone running around me and I was just looking at my family and all the fans that came here from Maryland. I really appreciated all the support they gave us. I think I might've blacked out."

Gonzalez, a native of Dallas, was joined at Pizza Hut Park by his recreation league coach, club coach, close friends, relatives, mother, father and brother (who is a 6-foot-5, 320-pound player in Arena Football League, which is in limbo). His sisters -- one played soccer at Nicholls State, the other studies at Whittier in California -- were unable to attend.

Also at the stadium was Gonzalez's girlfriend, Alexis Pappas, who won the NCAA field hockey championship with Maryland this fall.

For those who have seen Maryland play regularly this year, do you think the 6-5 Gonzalez should turn pro? The College Cup defensive MVP and first-team all-American might have options in Mexico (his parents' native country) and Europe, but if he decides to sign with MLS, this is the year to do it because non-seniors are given Generation Adidas status, typically earn more money than four-year college players, and are exempt from a club's salary cap.

By Steve Goff  |  December 16, 2008; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Join MLS, play for US Nats, then go to Europe.

Posted by: TheJim1 | December 16, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Find out how much money you could make in Europe before signing with MLS.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 16, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I like the GenAd idea. Personally would like to see more domestic talent spend at least a little time in the domestic league.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 16, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I think if you've finished three years of college, you might as well knock off that fourth year and have a back-up plan. Medicine has gotten better, but every year it seems like someone gets a concussion, or blows out a knee or ankle.

Plus he has a good coach, good program, competitive conference, good teammates.

Mexico, MLS and Europe will still be there in 2010.

Posted by: eadc | December 16, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Mexico, MLS and Europe will still be there in 2010.

So will universities.

Posted by: universityandpark | December 16, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Why would you want to stay in College Park longer than you have to? :)

Posted by: Reignking | December 16, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

If a player is offered a Gen Adidas contract, he should take it. Take advantage of the inequity built into MLS's salary system.

Posted by: DWE4 | December 16, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

with a GenAd offer, yes, he should go pro. he's obviously on track to try and make it as a pro player, he's proven everything he need to at the NCAA level, Maryland isn't going to be better next season, it's time to get some pro training and playing time. you have the last year of college guaranteed by GenAd, go play.

without GenAd, then stay or go to Europe.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 16, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If he can get decent money, he ought to go pro...he'll get a little better at MD but a lot better in a professional environement and soccer gives you a limited earning window...he can always finish at MD later or online (or maybe he'll be done after this semester, who knows).

But I thought De La Garza looked better over the weekend...he looked like Namoff with speed.

Posted by: teo_68 | December 16, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Generation Adidas money or wait a year ? This is a no-brainer. Why would anybody (ie. likely first round picks) play the fourth year if that deal was on the table ? Question -- does MLS have the same rule as NBA re players retaining college eligibility if they don't sign with an agent ? If so, everybody should come out for the MLS draft before the fourth year. Also, how many GenAd players can a club have?

Posted by: oz4dcu | December 16, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

His brother was signed out of college by the Redskins. I wonder what his soccer playing weight would be? Gonzalo brothers out, Gonzalez brothers in, for central defense.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 16, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

One thing to consider is that if he leaves now and signs a GenAd contract w MLS he will be tied to the league for a good while. So he has to weigh the security of a guaranteed contract vs the riskier but possibly more lucrative choice of tryouts in Mexico or Europe (which he could pursue now or after his senior year). I assume he doesn't have something golden lined up already or he'd probably take it.

I wonder whether the eventual renegotiation of MLS' collective bargaining agreement will affect the choices of college prospects.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 16, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Gonzalo brothers out, Gonzalez brothers in, for central defense.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 16, 2008 12:07 PM

It would make the TV commentators seem less like idiots - briefly.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 16, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Christmas gifts for my Soccer Insider colleagues:

I270, Exit 1: Signed copy of Molly Hatchet lead singer Danny Joe Brown's autobiography.

curious: a digital counter to count the days to DCU's opening game

yankiboy: A fruit basket from Colin Clarke

VirginiaBlueBlood: with a name like that, you don't need anything!

Kenobi: Unscratched copy of Rush's "Permanent Waves" LP

Poopy McPoop: A new sign-in name

Reignking: You and Jack Warner. Alone. In a dark alley.

Dadryan: "Homeschooling for Dummies." And a ton of hemp

fischy: Tickets to "Mama Mia!" and a CD of ABBA's Greatest Hits

Karen (BlackandRedRedDevil): Talon throws a t-shirt right into your hands

OWNTF: A phone call from Pia: "I need some help. You available?"

delantero: My vow to take a closer look at Keynesian economics

Chest Rockwell: Kevin Payne's job, when he retires

SportzNut21: Autographed Angel jersey

universityandpark: One-year NRA membership

TheWashDipsSince88: A night of playing cards with John Kerr, Johan Cruyff and Paul Cannell

Kev29: Seven kids

BolivianDCfan: Jaime Moreno's cleats, the day he retires

alecw81: A full-time job on GWB Texas ranch, and a love for SEC football

jayrockers: My eternal Thx, Jay!

seahawkdad: A WNT game at a stadium near you

Mastodan Juan: A DCU kit

edgeonyou: That you maintain it, always.

For those of you I missed, I apologize, but my boss is expecting me to get some work done today. I will try and remember you next year, though...

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Weigh your options young man. If you are smart, you can use both Europe and Mexico for a sweet Gen Addidas contract (for cryin' out loud Quavis Kirk's contract with Gen Addidas paid him $110,000 this past season).

Only down point is Gonzalez won't be around by the time United picks at #6. However, his central defensive partner A.J. DelaGarza would be a steal in the second or third round (if he's still there). He very much is in the Michael Parkhurst mold (same size, same skill level and same positional awareness) and though his is small of frame, he's a damn good defender.

Most, if not all MLS scouts, will project him as an outside back. I think he might be one of those rare players that can play the middle in spite of their size (Cannavaro, Parkhurst, Guitterez in Chicago at times).

Posted by: ARickey | December 16, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

And for you, amigo: children on both national teams - right wingers, of course.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

why would you stay an extra year. O'brien White did and got injured, now there is no meniton of him, while last year he won the Herman Trophy.

Posted by: zoran1 | December 16, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

right wingers :)

Posted by: Reignking | December 16, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

For those of you I missed, I apologize, but my boss is expecting me to get some work done today. I will try and remember you next year, though...

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 12:50 PM
For God's sake, man, where are your priorities?! ;)
Next year, I'll be expecting stock options in my stocking, which by then might be worth something again...

Posted by: schmuckatelli | December 16, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Joel_M_Lane -- how long would a Gen Adidas contract tie him to the league?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | December 16, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

SportzNut21: Autographed Angel jersey

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 12:50 PM

Is that Juan Pablo...or Vladimir Guerrero? :)

Either way -- gracias and Feliz Navidad.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I would love to do my duty for my sport and "meet" Jack Warner.

Posted by: Reignking | December 16, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I would love to do my duty for my sport and "meet" Jack Warner.

Posted by: Reignking | December 16, 2008 1:58 PM

Would you order Chinese food? Get the duck duck-shu.

Posted by: bs2004 | December 16, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

mr. Metzler: genad contracts are for three years. Of course, he's not neccesarilu going to be tied to the league, only if he ends up at a team that won't sell under any circumstances (I'm looking right at you, Stevie Nichol)

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 16, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

You are a generous man joedoc. Is that why they call it Haymarket?
:-) You know bar-tending for dummies actually helped about ten years ago... Hhmmm.

I'm still crossing my fingers for a DCU 3rd jersey for Champions League play for New Years.
Could we also get someone to start selling smoked turkey legs at RFK!!!?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 16, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

How good is the Gman? He was much, much bigger than the strikers and even mids running at him. Will that be the same in the pros? And how much did the size differential mean.

How does he stack up against the two center backs for UNC, both of whom had size, were tough, and, in UNC's style of play, seemed to me more active.

If he can get 100K from MLS, he should go, unless, of course, he is all that and more, in which case he should go across the Great Pond.

Too bad Jordon Greye had that knee injury. Saw him as a young teenager, playing for Thom Heath (real good with young players) on a good DC Travel soccer team years ago. As a kid, when they put him at striker late in the game when his team was down, man, he was a sight to behold. Enjoyed watching the runs he made agaisnt Wake, and in the last game of the season against Maryland. Very nice touch on the ball in the short-passing game for a big guy defender, very nice. Very good with the ball at his feet as well. Anybody have a take on what his chances are to play pro?

Posted by: cohenra | December 16, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Turn pro, someone needs to push Onyewu out the door.

Posted by: cr10 | December 16, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

To: joedoc1


Thank you. I'll make good use of it.

I have 8 days of shopping left to come up with a present for you.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 16, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's what my husband wants for Christmas:
World peace
A warm January 20
Nationals World Series tickets
Omar Gonzalez and Jeremy Hall stay at Maryland

Posted by: sbuck | December 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@sbuck: The world peace I can work on... the Nationals tix may take a while... and I'll call the agents for Gonzalez and Hall.

As for January 20? Well, I'm hoping for snow. And lots of it!

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

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