Toronto FC sign USMNT DF, three-time MLS champ Omar Gonzalez

Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Omar Gonzalez is back in MLS after signing with Toronto FC as a Targeted Allocation Money player (between $500,000 and $1.5 million per season) on Monday.

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The 30-year-old defender will be eligible to make his TFC debut after July 9, when the league’s secondary transfer window opens. Gonzalez is currently in Gregg Berhalter’s pre-CONCACAF Gold Cup camp, with the final set to be played on July 7.

TFC used the top slot in the league’s allocation order, acquired from expansion side FC Cincinnati for $300,000 in allocation money (both general and targeted) in exchange for defender Nick Hagglund in January, to acquire Gonzalez.

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Playing alongside Laurent Ciman, who won the MLS Defender of the Year award in 2015, Gonzalez, the 2011 honoree, will give TFC one of the league’s best duos in central defense. Assuming that all three of Ciman, Chris Mavinga and Drew Moor remain on the roster through the end of the season, head coach Greg Vanney has an abundance of MLS veterans at his disposal less than a year after running out of center backs due to a rash of injuries last summer.

Gonzalez’s return to MLS comes after two and a half seasons with Liga MX side Pachuca, where he won the Clausura in 2016 and the CONCACAF Champions League in 2017, followed by the most recent season on loan to Atlas. The 49-times capped U.S. men’s national team defender moved to Pachuca in December 2015, after beginning his professional career with seven trophy-filled seasons as a member of the LA Galaxy, where he won three MLS Cups, in 2011, 2012 and 2015.