Pachuca's Omar Gonzalez: Coming from MLS to Liga MX was very difficult
Pachuca defender Omar Gonzalez may have enjoyed a stellar start to life in Liga MX, but the jump up in level from MLS wasn't easy, according to the player.
"When I arrived I had to up my level a lot because coming from MLS to the Liga MX was very difficult," said the U.S. international, who moved from LA Galaxy to Pachuca last summer and won the Liga MX Clausura 2016 title in his first season.
"The [Mexican] league is very good, coming here is difficult and I think that I'm getting better as a player every day," Gonzalez said on Wednesday.
Named to the MLS Best XI in four different seasons, Gonzalez stressed that Liga MX teams have greater strength in depth than MLS teams, although both are competitive.
"[The leagues] are similar in the sense that all games are difficult and anyone can beat anyone," said the 27-year-old. "The only difference is that here there is more quality from player one through 20.
"For example, when [five Pachuca] players went to the Olympics, there are others that can replace them and the level won't drop," he added. "Over there [in MLS] it isn't like that yet. They have only eight or nine quality players and then it begins to drop a little."
Gonzalez's move to Pachuca was confirmed last December and he quickly cemented his place in coach Diego Alonso's starting team, but part of the difficulty in adapting was down to the different style of play between the Liga MX and MLS.
"The game in Mexico is more tactical, more patient, that too is different," stated the three-time MLS Cup champion.
Pachuca has won its first two games of the Apertura 2016, but faces a difficult next few weeks, with Erick Aguirre, Victor Guzman, Erick Gutierez, Hirving Lozano and Rodolfo Pizarro all with Mexico's Olympic team until El Tri's participation at the Rio Games is over.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.