Chicho Arango Heads Off to Liga MX
After signing with LAFC in August of 2021, the Columbian striker makes a shock move to Liga MX side Pachuca. As reported by Tom Bogert Arango wanted a new contract but LAFC were reluctant to give him one, so when interest from abroad came by he quickly jumped on it. Chicho quickly became a fan favorite after his red-hot start when he joined LAFC. Scoring 14 goals in 17 league games. Chicho would go on and win the 2021 MLS Newcomer of the Year. Chico became a household name after stepping up for LAFC, during one of their worst stretches in club history. Arango took on the responsibility for LAFC’s attack, since Carlos Vela was injured throughout the 2021 season. With Chicho’s departure let’s take a look at some of his greatest moments as a member of the Black and Gold.
Chicho’s Debut Season
Arango would debut for LAFC on August 8th, 2021, against the San Jose Earthquakes in a 2-1 defeat. He played 68 minutes in the match and was substituted by Raheem Edwards. Chicho would take a while to get his first goal as a LAFC player. It wouldn’t be until August 28th, 2021, where he opened up his goal scoring account with the Black and Gold. He would score against archrivals the LA Galaxy in his first El Trafico. Converting a penalty in the 44th Minute to level the game at the time. From there Arango would go on a tear and score 13 goals in 16 matches. After the match against the Galaxy Arango would score 5 goals in the clubs next four matches. Solidifying himself as a threat up top for LAFC. He closed his debut season by scoring in the final game of 2021, a loss to the Colorado Rapids and a loss that saw them miss the playoffs. However, 2022 would a season of redemption for Chicho and LAFC.
A Phenomenal 2022 Season for Arango
Chicho would go on to have a phenomenal 2022 season for the Black and Gold contributing to a total of 20 goals. Scoring 16 goals and assisting with 4. There was a moment where his role could have relegated him to the bench. As LAFC had a monster midseason acquisition period. Bringing in Giorgio Chiellini, Denis Bouanga, and Gareth Bale. While both Bale and Bouanga both played better on the wings, Chicho’s spot was at risk. As head coach Steve Cherundolo prefers his strikers to possess defensive qualities. However, he would go on to play a crucial role for the remainder of the season and in the playoffs as well. Scoring the game winning goal against the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference Semi-Final. Also scoring in the Western Conference Final.
Eternal Glory For Chicho Arango
Cristian Arango would play his final match with LAFC on November 5th, 2022, in the MLS Cup Final against the Philadelphia Union. He played a total of 74 minutes as he exited for Mahala Opoku. A rather strange substitution as LAFC was tied 1-1 with the Union. Ultimately the substitution would backfire as in the 116th minute Opoku would be forced to be substituted as Maxime Crepeau had been given a red card. Chicho would give his all during the final and while his time on the pitch that day ended shortly, there’s no doubt he was a huge piece of LAFC’s 2022 season. Chicho leaves the club as the third leading scorer with 30 goals. He also helped LAFC achieve the double last year, winning the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup. Chicho will now take his talents to the reigning Liga MX champions Pachuca. LAFC fans thank Chicho for his efforts in delivering a title to LAFC and wish him the best with his new club Pachuca. Thank you for everything Chicho!