CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bid farewell to defender Omar Gonzalez on Tuesday, but club President Chris Klein says the club is already hard at work to bolster the squad after his exit.
The Galaxy announced the transfer of Gonzalez to Liga MX side C.F. Pachuca on Tuesday ending the central defender’s seven-year stay with the club. Keeping Gonzalez has been a long-stated priority for Klein and the rest of the Galaxy’s technical staff, but ultimately, both sides came to the agreement to transfer the player to Mexico.
“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,” Klein told LAGalaxy.com.
Gonzalez departs the Galaxy after an impressive seven-year tenure in which he helped the team win three MLS Cup championships while emerging as one of the league’s top defenders. During his time with the Galaxy, the 27-year-old Texas native racked up individual accolades including an appearance with the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year award, and four MLS Best XI selections.
Although Klein admits that losing such an integral player is “bittersweet,” the Galaxy club president admits that Bruce Arena is already looking to strengthen the team.
“Omar has meant and will always mean a tremendous amount to the Galaxy, both to our club and our fans. Any way that you slice it, this is going to be bittersweet for us because we all love Omar,” Klein said. “In saying that, though, this positions us to go out and do some things. Bruce and his group have been working hard to do that. We know that we need to shore up that [center back] position, and it gives us some resources to go out and shore up not only this position but others as well.”
The Galaxy brass will certainly look to reinforce their defense in the wake of Gonzalez’s departure, but Klein is adamant that they won’t be stopping there as the club looks toward their all-important CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with Santos Laguna in late February.
“There are a number of positions on the field that we want to upgrade. We feel like we have a great base to be able to work from. We’ve got most of our core coming back, and we’ll be able to get not just one but a few players to make our team better.”