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End of an era as L.A. Galaxy sends veteran Omar Gonzalez to Pachuca in Liga MX

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2015, file photo, Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, left, and New York City FC midfielder Andrew Jacobson battle for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Carson, Calif. Gonzalez has been transferred from the Galaxy to Mexicoâs Pachuca. The Galaxy announced the move Tuesday, Dec. 22. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2015, file photo, Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, left, and New York City FC midfielder Andrew Jacobson battle for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Carson, Calif. Gonzalez has been transferred from the Galaxy to Mexicoâs Pachuca. The Galaxy announced the move Tuesday, Dec. 22. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Omar Gonzalez, the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, has been transferred from the Los Angeles Galaxy to Pachuca in Mexico's Liga MX. 

Team president Chris Kline characterized the decision to move the defender, who had been under contract with the team for the last seven years, as a business decision.

"Omar has meant and will always mean a tremendous amount to the Galaxy," he told LAGalaxy.com, "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.”

The 6-foot-5 center back was viewed as a possible future star for the U.S. national team when he made his international debut in 2009, but his career has stalled since January 2012, when he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in a collision with fellow American Timmy Chandler. The injury occurred during Gonzalez's first training session with Germany's Nuremberg, where he had been loaned.

Gonzalez reinjured the knee in May 2014 and recovered to start the Americans' last group-stage match and round-of-16 loss to Belgium at the World Cup. He has 30 international appearances but has fallen behind Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Matt Besler and Michael Orozco on U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann's depth chart.

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An American-born son of Mexican parents, Gonzalez has dual citizenship. He helped the Galaxy win three MLS Cup titles, is a four-time pick for the MLS Best XI and was voted 2011 Defender of the Year.

Gonzalez had a $1.2 million base salary this year. He became a designated player in 2013, but the Galaxy paid down their commitment to sign Mexican star Giovani Dos Santos in July.

Pachuca finished in 12th place out of 18 teams in the first half of the 2015-16 Liga MX season. They won six of their 17 games, losing eight and tieing three.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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