The LA Galaxy announced on Tuesday that they have transferred defender Omar Gonzalez to Mexican outfit CF Pachuca. Per league and club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Gonzalez, a 27-year-old United States international, departs after making 205 appearances (regular season and playoffs) over seven seasons with the LA Galaxy since being selected No. 3 overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
“We thank Omar for his contribution and dedication to this club throughout the past seven years,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena, in a team release. “We wish Omar the best of luck with Pachuca.”
During his time with the Galaxy, he was part of three MLS Cup-winning teams (2011, 2012, 2014), has been selected to four MLS Best XIs (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014) and won two individual awards: the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year and 2011 Defender of the Year. In addition to his defensive contributions, Gonzalez added 12 goals and 10 assists in regular-season play, plus two goals and two assists in the playoffs.
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"Leaving is never easy and change can be difficult," Gonzalez wrote, in an open letter to LA Galaxy fans. "However, this is an opportunity for me to continue to grow as a player and as a person. I will always be a part of the LA Galaxy and this club and you all will always be a part of me."
At the international level, Gonzalez has earned 30 caps for the United States national team since making his senior debut in August 2010. He helped the USMNT to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title, started two games in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and scored his first international goal in a 6-0 win over Cuba in the 2015 Gold Cup.
Gonzalez is a dual US-Mexican citizen with strong family ties to Mexico – both his parents were born there – and now faces a new challenge with one of the most historically successful teams in that country. Pachuca have won five Liga MX and four CONCACAF Champions League titles since 1999 and were the first Mexican team to win a South American club championship when they captured the 2006 Copa Sudamericana. However, Los Tuzos missed out on the most recent Liga MX playoffs, finishing 13th in the Apertura 2015 standings with a league-worst 33 goals against, which should make Gonzalez a welcome addition to their backline.