Colombia forward Chicho Arango leaves LAFC for Liga MX champions Pachuca

Colombian forward Cristian "Chicho" Arango has joined Liga MX title-holders Pachuca from MLS Cup champions LAFC, the two clubs announced on Wednesday.

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After joining LAFC in the summer of 2021 from Colombia's Millonarios, Arango quickly became a key figure in his debut season in MLS.

Despite arriving near the midpoint of the year, the forward sprinted his way to the 2021 MLS Newcomer of the Year award with 14 goals and two assists in just 17 games.

Following rumors of a possible exit in early 2022, Arango stayed with LAFC for the full season, eventually re-establishing himself as a starter and vital attacking presence in last year's run to the MLS Cup title and Supporters' Shield.

"I am very grateful to everyone at LAFC," Arango said in a statement. "Thank you to all the fans and to the 3252 for all of the beautiful moments we were able to share, and for us to become champions together."

Now with Pachuca, the 27-year-old will be tasked with filling the massive hole left by Liga MX's 2022 Apertura leading goalscorer, Argentine striker Nicolas Ibanez.

Signed by Tigres in January, Ibañez's frontline presence was a massive one with Pachuca in the chase of their own league title last year.

Arango's transition into Ibañez's spot at No. 9 could be helped by the presence of fellow Colombians Aviles Hurtado, Marino Hinestroza and Oscar Murillo at Pachuca.

Arango earned his second appearance with Colombia's national team in a 0-0 friendly draw with the U.S. men's national team last Saturday in front of a sellout crowd at LA Galaxy's Dignity Health Sports Park.