This MLS offseason has been one for the books with sides like Toronto FC and FC Dallas making huge acquisitions, but once again LA Galaxy has usurped the spotlight.
But this time the biggest club in MLS isn’t spending, instead selling one of its greatest players, Omar Gonzalez. The USMNT center back was traded to Mexican club CF Pachuca, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We thank Omar for his contribution and dedication to this club throughout the past seven years,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We wish Omar the best of luck with Pachuca.”
LA’s president and Gonzalez’s former teammate Chris Klein did not want to see one of the Galaxy and MLS’ main attraction leave, but he stated both sides came to the conclusion that a transfer was the best possible option for both parties.
“Omar has meant and will always mean a tremendous amount to the Galaxy, both to our club and our fans. Any way that you slice it, this is going to be bittersweet for us because we all love Omar,” Klein said. “In saying that, though, this positions us to go out and do some things. Bruce and his group have been working hard to do that. We know that we need to shore up that [center back] position, and it gives us some resources to go out and shore up not only this position but others as well.”
Gonzalez, 27, has been the Galaxy’s top defender since his rookie season in 2009. He made 180 regular season appearances, registering 12 goals and 10 assists.
In 2013, he became the first center back in MLS history to be given a Designated Player contract. The contract was a reward for the role he played the past two seasons in which the Galaxy hoisted the MLS Cup. But in the middle of the 2015 season, his contract was bought down in order for the Galaxy to acquire Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos.
According to ESPNFC, the U.S. international “made $1.45 million in guaranteed compensation in 2015, the 16th-highest in MLS and 20 percent more than any other defender.”
There were multiple rumors that Gonzalez’s days with the Galaxy were numbered, but many thought Europe was his next destination. However, it isn’t a surprise that the lanky destroyer is headed south of the border. His parents are Mexicans and he is a dual citizen.
Despite being Mexican, the Dallas, Texas native chose to represent the U.S. He has made 30 appearances, including two starts at the 2014 World Cup. He also has a goal, which he scored against Cuba at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 2011 Defender of the Year took to Twitter to say farewell to Galaxy fans.
And his new club had a very interesting way of unveiling their new acquisition.
— DIARIO RÉCORD (@record_mexico) December 22, 2015
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