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Omar Gonzalez sold by LA Galaxy to Pachuca

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Gonzalez is leaving the LA Galaxy after seven years after being sold to Pachuca in Liga MX. Pachuca will be Gonzalez's second professional team and the centerback's first time outside MLS.

The Galaxy almost had to sell Gonzalez, not because of his play, but due to their salary cap situation. Had they kept him, he would have taken up almost all of their Targeted Allocation Money and LA would have had almost no money to spend all offseason on a team that needs help. By selling Gonzalez, they can use TAM or some freed up salary cap space to strengthen their overall roster.

Gonzalez is coming off the worst season of his career, so the timing did work out decently for the Galaxy, even if they would have preferred to keep him. His form really faltered late in the season and he couldn't bail the Galaxy out at the back, which they desperately needed with Steven Gerrard inviting opposing teams to attack the defense at will.

It will be interesting to see how Gonzalez does in Liga MX. The defending in the league isn't always great and the match is often played in space. That's not the type of play that Gonzalez usually thrives in, although he has improved and should be a force in the air.

Pachuca struggled in the recently completed Apertura, finishing 13th and well out of a playoff place. Their defense was the worst in Liga MX, conceding 33 goals in 17 matches, so Gonzalez is stepping into a team that could use his help and he should get a chance to play right away with the Tuzos not adding any other great defenders this winter.

If Gonzalez can play well for Pachuca, he should jump right back into the race to be a starter for the United States. John Brooks' strong run of form for Hertha Berlin has him making a case to earn a first choice place, while Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler have played well of late, but nobody has been so good that they've cemented their places. There are two places to play for and, at his best, Gonzalez has shown that he can be the man for the Americans. He just has to rediscover that form.