U.S. International Defender Omar Gonzalez joins Toronto FC

Omar Gonzalez in March. Photo by Maria Lysaker/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (10168590a)

Toronto FC is getting a badly needed boost for their defense that allowed 23 goals in just 14 matches. The team announced on Monday that they had acquired U.S. international defender Omar Gonzalez from Liga MX side Pachuca.

Toronto completed the signing of Gonzalez using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), but the 30-year-old center back won’t be eligible to play in MLS until July 9th, when the league’s transfer window officially reopens.

Gonzalez has been a member of Pachuca since 2016 and has won CONCACAF Champions League and Clausura trophy during his time with the team. He spent the better part of this season at the loan with Liga MX team Atlas.

“Adding Omar will improve our team. He is a great competitor that will approach every training session and match with a high level of intensity,” said Toronto FC general manager Ali Curtis in a statement. “He’ll also be able to add a greater presence in the air for us, both offensively and defensively. And, while he has won numerous trophies during his career on the club and international level, he is hungry to be part of a championship team in Toronto. We were looking for a very specific profile of a player. Omar’s a good guy. He will fit in well with the group, and he will be a welcome addition to the locker room and daily environment.”

Omar Gonzalez started his professional career with LA Galaxy, who took him 3rd overall in 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Gonzalez won three MLS Cups with Galaxy, while also managing to win Supporters’ Shield in 2010 and 2011. He has also won multiple individual honors in his eight years with the organization including MLS Rookie of the Year and MLS Defender of the Year.

Gonzalez has been a member of USMNT since 2010 and was part of the nation’s roster for 2014 FIFA World Cup. He has made a total of 49 appearances for the senior team.