MONTREAL — Defender Laurent Ciman, shocked at being traded by the Montreal to the expansion Los Angeles FC this week, took to social media to thank Montreal fans for their support the last three seasons.

A Twitter posting on Thursday from the Belgium international, his first statement since the trade, said "destiny" sent him to California, but caused him to leave without a proper goodbye.

"I wanted so much to say how proud I was wear your colours," he wrote in French. "I arrived in Canada, excuse me, Quebec, in 2015.

"I discovered Montreal, a magnificent city. I fell in love with its streets, its smell, it's people, its history. For my family, Montreal was a complete stranger. Today, Montreal is part of my family."

A report quoting agent Jean Russo said Ciman, who was MLS defender of the year in his first season, was stunned to learn he was traded on Tuesday for former Toronto FC fullback Raheem Edwards and left back Jukka Raitala, who had been selected in the MLS expansion draft.

The agent said the 32-year-old Ciman had a verbal agreement to finish his career with the Impact.

He joined the Impact from Belgian club Standard Liege because Montreal offered better treatment than he could get at home for his autistic daughter Nina. He bought a house in the city and was expecting a long stay.

The trade was Montreal's biggest move since the hiring Nov. 8 of French coach Remi Garde, who is expected to make sweeping changes after the club missed the playoffs one year after reaching the Eastern Conference final.