Nuremberg's Omar Gonzalez tears knee ligaments

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United States defender Omar Gonzalez tore left knee ligaments in his first practice with Bundesliga club Nuremberg and is returning to Los Angeles.

Gonzalez tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a tackle at the club's training camp in Antalya, Turkey, Nuremberg said Friday. The club is organizing Gonzalez's return home.

''That's really bitter for Omar,'' Nuremberg chief operating officer Martin Bender said. ''He wanted to show us what he is capable of and we had great hopes for him.

''The important thing is for Omar to get healthy again. In the 24 hours he spent with us we got to know him as an interesting personality and player. We wish him all the best,''

Gonzalez had just joined Nuremberg's camp on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy and was hoping to play in the Bundesliga during the MLS offseason. The injury occurred on Thursday and was confirmed by a scan in a Turkish hospital on Friday.

He is expected to have an operation next week and will be out for several months.

Bader had been hoping to sign the defender after the 2011-12 season ends.

The 23-year-old Gonzalez was voted the MLS defender of the year in 2011 and helped the Galaxy win the championship.

Nuremberg is 15th in the 18-team Bundesliga, which resumes play on Jan. 20. American defender Timmy Chandler also is on the club.

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