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Friday, December 16, 2011
GALAXY: America trolling for Gonzalez?

By Scott French

The Galaxy continues to work on its roster, working on new deals with Sean Franklin, Juninho and a few others while awaiting decisions by, at the least, David Beckham and Chris Birchall.

Might they also need to find a replacement for Omar Gonzalez?

Major League Soccer's Defender of the Year is being pursued by Mexico City giant Club America, ESPN Deportes' Fernando Schwartz posted to his Twitter account.

The gist of Schwartz's text: The Aguilas aren't after New York Red Bulls defender/midfielder Rafa Marquez, the Mexican national team captain, but rather the young Galaxy star.

Gonzalez, 23, a 6-foot-5 Texan, had a tremendous impact for the Galaxy in his third Major League Soccer campaign, anchoring their backline as the team tied the league mark with 17 shutouts during the regular season, three in the CONCACAF Champions League and two more in the MLS Cup playoffs.

He was MLS's Rookie of the Year in 2009 and an MLS Best XI selection and Defender of the Year finalist in 2010.

America is rebuilding after finishing 17th of 18 clubs in the Mexican Primera Division's fall Apertura competition. The Aguilas open their Clausura campaign Jan. 7 in Queretaro against Gallos Blancos.

Gonzalez hopes to be on the list, expected next week, for the U.S. national team's training camp next month. Jurgen Klinsmann will open the sessions Jan. 3 in Phoenix, with the camp moving to Home Depot Center from Jan. 13 to 19, then returning to Phoenix for the Jan. 21 friendly against Venezuela. The U.S. then heads to Panama for a Jan. 25 friendly.

WORTH NOTING: Senegalese winger El Hadji Diouf, 30, a two-time African player of the year, told Dakar daily L’Observateur that he has an offer from the Galaxy. Diouf, who plahys for Doncaster Rovers in England's second-tier Championship, says he also is talking to Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala, his likely destination if a deal can be finalized. ... Landon Donovan's loan deal to Everton sparked Toffees captain Phil Neville to tweet: “USA USA USA USA USA USA USA!!!!” Donovan's reply: “Haha. Can't wait to see you pal...I miss you guys!” ... Former Galaxy striker Edson Buddle has been dismissed from second-tier German side FC Ingolstadt until after winter break, but manager Tomas Oral has not said why.

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