Chicharito finally makes his move

Jorge Campos
, Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez in the early years. More recently, the dos Santos brothers, Giovani and Jonathan.

Over its first 24 years, the LA Galaxy has had its share of Mexico stars, but none of the order of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.

For a decade after debuting for Mexico at the age of 21 in 2009, Chicharito, the son and grandson of Mexican World Cup players, has been the face of Mexican soccer. He is El Tri's all-time leading scorer with 52 goals and his goalscoring prowess took him from Guadalajara to Manchester United.

From Old Trafford to Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan. He won Premier League titles with Manchester United in 2011 and 2013 and was named to the Bundesliga Best XI at Bayer Leverkusen in 2016.

But Chicharito has averaged less than 10 goals a season in league play over the last decade at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham United and finally Sevilla this season. At Sevilla, he scored just one goal in the first half of the season, starting only four games and making nine appearances.

“People are going to say it was because I couldn’t make it, but sometimes in football there are things that are not in your hands,” Chicharito told The Los Angeles Times. “The last two years, the managers decided on giving confidence to other players rather than me.”

Right stage to make move. Chicharito, 31, said the move to LA Galaxy comes at the right time for him and in MLS's growth.

"MLS is getting very close," Chicharito told in an interview. "I think our country doesn't want to admit that MLS is getting very close. I've been out 10 years now, out of playing in Liga MX, and this is going to be my first time playing in MLS so I cannot tell you what exactly is the way, but the way I see it from the outside, the explosion of MLS all over the world is not the same as Liga MX. I know it because my teammates, the coaches I have played for, they have more knowledge about MLS than Liga MX. Both leagues are improving, but MLS is improving in bigger steps. Speaking about Liga MX, they don't want to notice that."

Chicharito knows all about MLS and the Galaxy from new Galaxy teammate Jonathan dos Santos. He notes that Jona has continued to play regularly for El Tri since moving to MLS.

At the Galaxy, Chicharito will replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic and head the new frontline that will feature Argentine Cristian Pavon, a 2019 midseason acquisition brought back for a second season on loan, and Serbian Aleksandar Katai, a free-agent signing after he was waived by the Chicago Fire.

Ibrahimovic scored 52 goals in 56 games in two seasons, but the Galaxy failed to make the playoffs in 2018 and lost to LAFC in the Western Conference semifinals in 2019.

LAFC stands in Galaxy's way. Chicharito's task will be to lead to the Galaxy back to the top of MLS. It's won a record five MLS titles, but none since 2014. To do that, Chicharito will go up against longtime Mexico teammate Carlos Vela, the 2019 MLS MVP, and the Galaxy will have to overtake LAFC.

“It’s going to be fun for us and even more for the LA Galaxy fans because we are going to take three points from every game we play in,” Chicharito said. “Carlos and I have known each other and been friends since we were 14 or 15 years old, not to mention everything we experienced together with the national team. Now we’re going to be closer, but he knows that I’m coming to the biggest team in MLS and the biggest team in Los Angeles, so we’ll see what happens in the Clasicos.”

The dates of the two El Traficos in the 2020 regular season: May 16 at Banc of California Stadium and Aug. 23 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

3 comments about "Chicharito finally makes his move".
  1. David Ruder, January 22, 2020 at 10:59 a.m.

    Nostalgic  Mexican fans will be happy to pay to see him touch the ball regardless if he scores.

  2. Goal Goal, January 22, 2020 at 4:15 p.m.

    MLS is getting very close to what Mr. C.?

  3. R2 Dad, January 25, 2020 at 1:47 a.m.

    Great to see Chicharito in North America again--too bad he won't be playing in the Champions League this year, though. V curious how this will impact the way Galaxy play and build their attack. JH is one of those poacher types who is always at the rigth place at the right time, meaning Galaxy will have to have the majority of possession and a 10 in the attacking 3rd to get him the ball. Are they really set up to do that?

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