Galaxy to be without Omar Gonzalez for most of 2012

Galaxy to be without Omar Gonzalez for most of 2012

Published Jan. 11, 2012 3:37 p.m. ET

The Galaxy will be without Omar Gonzalez, Major League Soccer's top defender last year, for nearly all of the coming season, Coach Bruce Arena said.

Gonzalez, a former MLS rookie of the year, tore ligaments in his left knee earlier this month when he collided with fellow American Timmy Chandler during his first training session with FC Nuremberg. Gonzalez was on loan to the Bundesliga club.

Galaxy team doctors examined Gonzalez after his emergency return from Germany, and though they have yet to make a full diagnosis, Arena said he doesn't expect to see Gonzalez on the field until the tail end of the 2012 season.

The Galaxy are already without steady midfielder Juninho, who signed a contract to play at home this season. And though the team hopes to re-sign David Beckham, officials say contract talks with the former English team captain are drawing on longer than anticipated.

Juninho, Gonzalez and Beckham all played major roles in leading the Galaxy to the MLS Cup title last fall.

Arena said he doesn't expect to be able to fill the void left by Gonzalez in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, adding that a replacement player or two would "likely" come from abroad. In recent years the Galaxy has been among the most active MLS teams in terms of bringing foreign players into the league.

-- Kevin Baxter