Omar Gonzalez (white jersey) will hope to be on the field when the USA faces Honduras in Frisco, Texas, near his hometown of Dallas, on July 7, 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)FRISCO, Tex. – Whenever Greg Garza gets an opportunity to play in the Dallas area, it’s been special. Add the fact that he’s representing the United States in the opening match of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, well that’s about as good as it gets.
“What else can you ask for, right? It’s a dream come true,” said the 23-year-old defender. “For me, being home and having my family, my parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents to be able to see me, I’m just really happy to be here.”
While many players on the U.S. stepped on the practice field outside of Toyota Stadium for the first time, Garza -- recently loaned from Club Tijuana to Atlas in Liga MX -- was familiar with the complex.
He played there with his club team, the Dallas Texans, when he was younger and competed against Mexico with the United States U-23 team there as well.
“I think wherever you are you have to be ready for any circumstances,” Garza expressed. “It is a good feeling to be home, but I think the most important thing is for all of us to adapt the best way possible.”
Like Garza, Dallas-born Omar Gonzalez is trying to keep ticket requests to a minimum.
“I’m probably just going to take care of my immediate family or else there’s going to be too many tickets to get and then it comes out of my pocket,” he commented. “Right now, I’m just taking care of my brothers and sisters and mom and dad.”
The LA Galaxy defender, who also played for the Dallas Texans, is thrilled to be back on home soil.
“It’s very special to come back to Dallas while playing for your national team, playing in such an important tournament for us this year and playing against a good opponent in Honduras,” emphasized Gonzalez. “It’s going to be exciting and hopefully we can get the result we want.”
After training on Sunday morning, he and his teammates planned to watch the U.S. women’s national team square off against Japan in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final later in the day.
“We’re all excited for them,” said Gonzalez, 26. “We’re going to have dinner tonight and watch them play and cheer them on.”
The team recorded messages for the current CONCACAF champion – Gonzalez said he taped his with Brad Evans and it was simple: “Good luck and to take care of business.”
And, with a 5-2 triumph, the American women did just that emphatic efficiency.
Will Garza, Gonzalez and company do the same at the Gold Cup?
A good start at “home” would certainly help.