Omar Gonzalez's USMNT future 

December, 2, 2012

CARSON, Calif. -- If timing really is everything, then Omar Gonzalez couldn't have picked a better moment to turn in the finest performance of his promising young career.

With national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann watching from a Home Depot Center suite, the 6-foot-5 L.A. Galaxy defender dominated Saturday's MLS Cup final against Houston, heading home a game-changing goal and taking MVP honors in the 3-1 win in which Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane also scored for the hosts.

What Gonzalez also showed on Saturday is that he's ready to make a serious run at a major role with the U.S. national team.

"From a national team perspective, that back line for Klinsmann is unsettled and undecided, and to be quite honest, individual and collective performances from that back four have not been stellar," former national team center back and current ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas told Insider on Sunday. "So there's a tremendous opportunity for Omar, and I think he recognizes that now he has to take hold of it if and when that call comes, and I certainly think it will come."

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.