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Bruce Arena Pleased With Omar Gonzalez's Contributions in 2023
"His experience and his professional attitude in terms of wanting to help the team has been great."
So far in 2023, Omar Gonzalez has done his job.
2022 was a season full of disappointment for Gonzalez and the New England Revolution. Late game errors plagued the veteran center back as he struggled in his first season with New England.
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Now in 2023, those issues appear to be behind the veteran. Gonzalez has appeared in two games so far this season registering six minutes played. The 34-year-old has been utilized in late-game scenarios where the Revolution are looking to hold onto a victory.
Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena has called upon him to see out games and the center back has done just that.
“[Omar Gonzalez] is an experienced player, as you’ve said,” the head coach stated on Thursday. “His experience and his professional attitude in terms of wanting to help the team has been great. He’s done a good job in the locker room and team meetings and on the field, so he’s had a good contribution this year.”
While Gonzalez is a grizzled veteran, he still can strike fear in his opponents. If a striker is going up for a header, the center back will make sure that they know he is there.
Striker Bobby Wood spoke about the impact that the 6’5” center back has on Thursday.
“Omar [Gonzalez] is a great guy,” Wood said. “He knows exactly what to do in these late game moments and so he’s a big physical presence. I don’t think any striker really wants to play against somebody that’s going to get into you like that, so it’s great to have him tactically, on the bench, coming in late. It’s great to have.”
This is the role Gonzalez was brought into play at this stage of his career. Injuries thrust him into the starting XI last season and he struggled. Now with adequate depth, the center back can be someone that Arena can rely upon to not mistakes and strengthen New England’s defensive efforts.
So after 2022, Revolution fans should be pleased with Gonzalez’s performance in 2023. While it has been in limited minutes, he has looked much more comfortable on the pitch and has helped New England secure wins.