Transfer Tracker

LAFC transfer striker Cristian Arango to Liga MX's Pachuca

TRANSFER_Cristian Arango


LAFC have transferred striker Cristian Arango to Liga MX side Pachuca, announcing Wednesday they’ve bid farewell to a key piece of their 2022 MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield double-winning side.

The Colombian international spent one-and-a-half seasons with LAFC, joining in August 2021 from Millonarios FC. He was remarkably productive on a non-Designated Player deal, tallying 35 goals and six assists in 58 games across all competitions.

The 27-year-old reportedly had interest in moving abroad this winter and, stretching back to last summer, was linked with leaving LAFC.

Arango’s exit, when combined with Gareth Bale’s retirement and other players not returning from LAFC’s 2022 roster, allows financial flexibility for new signings. The MLS Primary Transfer Window is open through April 24.

"We knew coming out of a successful 2022, we would need to make a major move, and likely a difficult decision ahead of roster compliance," LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. "We evaluated all possibilities and this transfer provides the needed resources and flexibility to continue our ambition of winning trophies.

"Whenever possible, we work with the player, as we did in this case upon receiving Chicho’s request. Chicho will forever remain an important part of LAFC, and we wish him and his family all the best in the next stage of his career at Pachuca."

Arango was LAFC’s starting No. 9 and would have been, assuming consistency with their 2022 group, flanked by DP wingers Carlos Vela and Denis Bouanga. The reigning champions return with versatile youngsters Kwadwo Opoku and Stipe Biuk as well, but could now pursue other high-impact forwards.

The Black & Gold have an open DP spot and have already invested in the final third this winter, acquiring Biuk on a U22 Initiative deal from ​​Croatian top-flight side Hajduk Split. With a busy calendar in 2023 and a history of signing top-end MLS attackers, they’ll likely add more pieces.

"I am very grateful to everyone at LAFC," Arango said. "Thank you to all the fans and to the 3252 for all of the beautiful moments we were able to share, and for us to become champions together."

LAFC have two ways to cross paths with Arango in 2023, as they’re both in the Concacaf Champions League (on different sides of the bracket) and received a bye into the Round of 32 in Leagues Cup (respective league champions).

At Pachuca, Arango will play with former San Jose Earthquakes DP midfielder Javier López. The Liga MX Apertura 2022 champions also had two players on Mexico’s 2022 FIFA World Cup squad: defender Kevin Álvarez and midfielder Luis Chávez.

LAFC are entering their second year under head coach Steve Cherundolo. They’ll open with a Feb. 25 clash at the Rose Bowl against El Trafico rivals LA Galaxy (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).