Omar Gonzalez is transferred by LA Galaxy to Pachuca (Liga MX)
CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015) – Today, the LA Galaxy announced they have transferred defender Omar Gonzalez to C.F. Pachuca in Mexico’s Liga MX. Gonzalez departs after making 180 MLS Regular Season appearances for the Galaxy in a seven year MLS Career.
“We thank Omar for his contribution and dedication to this club throughout the past seven years,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “We wish Omar the best of luck with Pachuca.”
In an open letter addressed to ‘The Galaxy Family’ posted on his Twitter account, Gonzalez had this to say:
“Finding the words to sum up the last seven years with the Galaxy is no easy task. I arrived in Los Angeles looking to fulfill my dream of playing professional soccer and everything that has happened has been a dream come true.
To have the opportunity to put on an LA Galaxy Jersey and play at StubHub Center in front of you every week has been a blessing. We were able to win three championships and create memories that will last a lifetime.
I’m extremely thankful that soccer gave me the opportunity to play for you and the city of Los Angeles. Since moving here as a 20-year old, you have made me feel extremely welcome and because of your generosity, I am proud to call LA my second home. I am thankful to this club, Bruce Arena, Chris Klien, and my teammates for all of their support while here in Los Angeles.
Leaving is never easy and change can be difficult. 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 will always be a part of me.”
Omar Gonzalez was selected by the LA Galaxy with the third overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. A draft that also saw fellow Maryland teammate AJ DeLaGarza get drafted by the Galaxy. In his first year with the LA Galaxy he helped station a defense that saw their season end to Real Salt Lake on Penalty Kicks in an MLS Cup Final.
Going forward, with the LA Galaxy, Gonzalez captured three MLS Cups and solidified his position as one of the leagues top defenders. And his partnership with AJ DeLaGarza only seemed to further drive up his playing talent. When DeLaGarza and Gonzalez were paired together in central defense, the Galaxy were 34-9-16.
180 MLS Regular Season Appearances
2009 MLS Rookie of the Year
2011 Defender of the Year
MLS Best XI Roster 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
3 MLS Cups 2011, 2012, 2014
In August of 2013 he was named LA Galaxy’s third Designated Player, the first pure center back to receive a DP contract in MLS history. Since 2010, Omar has been featured heavily on the USMNT, scoring 1 goal in 30 appearances, including three matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In August of 2015 Gonzalez had his Designated Player (DP) status removed when the LA Galaxy used Target Allocation Money (TAM) to pay down his contract. This was move that allowed the LA Galaxy to sign Giovani dos Santos as their third DP.
It has been speculated that the Galaxy were asking Gonzalez to take a pay cut for the 2016 season. And that if a deal couldn’t be worked out between the two that the team would have to move him to another team because of MLS’ Salary Cap rules.
When speaking to LAGalaxy.com, LA Galaxy President Chris Klein stated “This is part of sports; it is part of the world that we live in. We’re transferring Omar to Pachuca, and at the end of it, we made a decision, and Omar made a decision that was best for him and our club.”
So it remains unclear if a deal fell apart or if it was just time for the LA Galaxy and Omar Gonzalez to part ways.
Per MLS and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.