Omar Gonzalez joins Bundesliga side Nurnberg on loan during MLS offseason

LA Galaxy defender Gonzalez trained for the first time with Nurnberg on Thursday to kick off a brief loan move intended to end before the MLS season resumes.
Following the news that Omar Gonzalez has withdrawn from the January U.S. training camp, Bundesliga side Nurnberg announced the loan signing of the LA Galaxy central defender.

Gonzalez flew straight to Turkey from the United States and participated in his first training session with Nurnberg in Belek on Thursday.

"We are delighted that Omar has traveled with us to the training camp," Nurnberg chairman Martin Bader said. "It was planned that he would join us in summer 2012 but we have got the opportunity to loan him at least until the start of the MLS season in mid-February."

Gonzalez, 23, recently won the MLS Defender of the Year gong in 2011, as well as anchoring the backline for a title-winning Galaxy. The 6-foot-5 defender has two caps for the U.S. national team, but could still choose to represent Mexico internationally given his dual passport.

For Nurnberg, which also employs U.S. international Timothy Chandler, Gonzalez will help shore up a backline which will lose Phillipp Wollscheid to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.

"Because of the transfer of Philipp Wollscheid we had to think about it early how to strengthen our central defense in the summer," Bader said. "Omar is an interesting candidate, a young talented player who could be an enforcement for 1. FC Nurnberg."

Nurnberg sits 15th out of the 18 Bundesliga teams. With 28 goals conceded this season, only five teams have more generous defenses in the league.

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