LA Galaxy send U.S.' Omar Gonzalez to Pachuca
The LA Galaxy have transferred United States international Omar Gonzalez to Mexican club Pachuca for an undisclosed fee, the MLS club announced on Tuesday.
Gonzalez, 27, has played for the Galaxy since being drafted by LA in 2009.
The Galaxy gave him a designated player contract in 2013 -- the first for a center-back -- but this past July the club bought down that deal with targeted allocation money under a new MLS rule.
That move allowed LA to sign Mexico international Giovani dos Santos, but still left Gonzalez as an expensive option at the back.
The Dallas native made $1.45 million in guaranteed compensation in 2015, the 16th-highest in MLS and 20 percent more than any other defender.
"We thank Omar for his contribution and dedication to this club throughout the past seven years," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "We wish Omar the best of luck with Pachuca."
Gonzalez thanked Galaxy fans with a letter on Twitter, saying "change can be difficult."
"I'm extremely thankful that soccer gave me the opportunity to play for you and the city of Los Angeles," he wrote. "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, [president] Chris Klein 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 all will always be a part of me."
In seven seasons with LA, Gonzalez won three MLS Cups. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2009 and Defender of the Year in 2011.
He has also been a fixture in the national team under Jurgen Klinsmann and started twice at the 2014 World Cup.