The Los Angeles Galaxy have announced that Omar Gonzalez will become their third designated player (DP).
The 24-year-old's contract was set to expire at the end of the season, and a move across the pond would've been the next logical step for him. Now, his European aspirations will have to be put on hold for now.
The U.S. Men's National Team (USMNT) defender has enjoyed tremendous success with the Galaxy, winning two MLS Cups and MLS Defender of the Year.
Gonzalez is far from the best DP ever that many expected though. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are L.A.'s two other current DPs. Former Galaxy designated players include none other than David Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel.
With the likes of Kaka, Frank Lampard, Andrei Arshavin, Gio dos Santos, and Samuel Eto'o all rumored at some point to be the Galaxy's third and final DP, signing Gonzalez to the lucrative contract seems to be somewhat of a letdown.
Did Omar Gonzalez make the right decision by staying in MLS?
As for how this impacts the national team, it can be debated whether or not staying in MLS is the right choice for Gonzalez. Going up against tougher competition in Europe is always good for a young player, but staying with the Galaxy and getting guaranteed minutes leading up to the World Cup may be more important.
Gonzalez's DP contract also means a lot for the growth of MLS. The league has recently been keeping and bringing back many USMNT players. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi both signed extensions with Sporting Kansas City. Clarence Goodson now plays for the San Jose Earthquakes. And of course, Clint Dempsey's transfer to Seattle Sounders FC tops them all.
Perhaps this now paves the way for Landon Donovan to re-sign with the Galaxy once he's out of contract at the end of the season. And if Donovan does stay, what does that say about MLS? Perhaps other top American players will remain in the league, or some may even pull a "Clint Dempsey" and make their way back.