THREE LA GALAXY PLAYERS CALLED INTO U.S. NATIONAL TEAM

The players will remain in camp with the National Team through their friendly against Chile, which will be played at The Home Depot Center on Saturday, January 22.

CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, December 21, 2010) – LA Galaxy defenders A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin and Omar Gonzalez have been called into camp with the U.S. National Team. They are three of 24 players named by head coach Bob Bradley for the three-week camp which begins at The Home Depot Center on Tuesday, January 4. The players will remain in camp with the National Team through their friendly against Chile, which will be played at The Home Depot Center on Saturday, January 22.

Of the three Galaxy players called into camp, only Omar Gonzalez has earned a cap for the U.S. He made his international debut on August 10, playing the full 90 minutes in central defense in a 2-0 loss to Brazil at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year and finalist for the 2010 MLS Defender of the Year award, Gonzalez has quickly established himself as one of the top central defenders in MLS. In two years with the Galaxy, Gonzalez has appeared in 58 regular season games, scoring three times and adding one assist. The Galaxy’s 2010 Defender of the Year, Gonzalez has started all seven of the club’s postseason games over the past two years, adding a goal and an assist, while helping LA reach MLS Cup in 2009 and win the Supporters’ Shield in 2010.

The 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year, Sean Franklin is in camp with the U.S. for the third time in his career, though he is still looking to make his first appearance for the Red White and Blue. The 25-year-old was first called into Bob Bradley’s squad in November 2008 ahead of a 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala in Colorado. Franklin did not play in that game, but he was back in camp with the U.S. in January 2009, only to be forced to leave camp and undergo sports hernia surgery. In three years with the Galaxy, Franklin has appeared in 65 regular season games while helping his team reach the postseason twice. In 2010, Franklin set a career-high with six assists, which were good for third on the club. The fourth oldest field player in the 24-man squad, Franklin was used on the right side of midfield and in central defense this season, in addition to his usual position at right back.

Rounding out the group is A.J. DeLaGarza, who is making his first appearance in a camp with the senior National Team. The Galaxy’s second round pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Maryland, DeLaGarza has established himself as one of the most versatile and reliable young defenders in the league. The 23-year-old has been used on the right and left sides of defense, as well as in central defense, where he played for much of the second half of last season. The 23-year-old has appeared in 39 regular season games for the Galaxy in his two years with the club, scoring twice and adding an assist. He was used primarily as at outside back during his rookie season in 2009 when he helped the Galaxy return to MLS Cup for the first time since 2005. In 2010, he started four regular season games and all three of the club’s postseason games in central defense, while also making seven starts at right back and three on the left side of defense.

All three players are expected to be back with the Galaxy following the camp as the club begin their preparations for the 2011 MLS season. The Galaxy will open the 2011 MLS season on Tuesday, March 15 when they head to Seattle to take on the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field in MLS First Kick 2011, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. That game, which will kick off at 6:30 p.m., will be shown live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, as well as online at ESPN3.com. The Galaxy will then host the New England Revolution in their home opener at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 at The Home Depot Center. For more information about this game or to purchase tickets, please visit the club’s official website at www.lagalaxy.com.

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