Omar Gonzalez may be a Major League Soccer star…But he’s also a major league stud. And, he’s not afraid to show it.
The 25-year-old Mexican-American soccer star, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is one of the 22 world-class athletes featured in their birthday suits for the sixth annual edition of ESPN the Magazine’s The Body Issue.
“I don’t really care how much you can lift in the gym,” says Gonzalez about exercise and weightlifting. “I think it’s funny that there are a lot of really buff guys out there. What is all that for? They are just strong for no reason. For me, I have to be strong for my sport, so I can compete at the highest level. I may not have been the biggest, but when it came down to playing, I shut people up.”
Gonzalez, who admits to being horrible at pullups, says he’s not a show-off.
“I don’t have my shirt off whenever possible,” says Gonzalez. “I’m not one to really show myself off like that.
ESPN the Magazine’s The Body Issue, which hit newsstands on July 11, is the magazine’s annual celebration of the athletic form.
“We somehow manage to raise the bar each year,” said ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com editor in chief Chad Millman. “This year’s collection of exceptional athletes and stunning photography showcases an array of sports and body types. It inhabits our mission to pay tribute to these athletes’ bodies and all they are capable of.”
In addition to Gonzalez, a member of this year’s U.S. soccer team at the FIFA World Cup, the other athletes featured stark-naked in the issue include Olympic gold-medal-winning snowboarder Jamie Anderson, tennis players Venus Williams and Tomas Berdych, Olympic bronze-medal-winning bobsledder Aja Evans, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, professional surfer Coco Ho, boxer Bernard Hopkins, cliff diver Ginger Huber, Olympic hockey player Hilary Knight, WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry and the husband-wife team of X Games stars Travis Pastrana and Lyn-Z, and Amy Purdy, a snowboarder who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics.
In previous years, the magazine featured soccer star Carlos Bocanegra and professional baseball star Giancarlo Stanton.