One of MLS' most high-profile rivalries returns this weekend when the LA Galaxy host LAFC on Saturday, and it could bring a new era in the young rivalry. It marks the first time Mexican forwards Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Carlos Vela could face each other in MLS play, should Vela recover from a hamstring injury in time.
LAFC's play-by-play announcer Max Bretos joined The Call Up to preview the clash, noting that a new layer could be added to the rivalry that may allow it to transcend the attention ex-Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibramihovic brought to the matches.
"I think what puts it over the top with Chicharito playing so well is how it's going to be received in the Mexican media, which can really move the perception of Major League Soccer," Bretos said, adding that the forwards are "are A-listers in Mexico." Bretos also said media attention in Mexico "gives it this layer that I don't think it's ever had and it's going to be a global event."
Although Vela's fitness remains in doubt after he suffered an injury in the first game of the season, Chicharito has made a spectacular start to 2021, scoring five goals in his first two matches. Bretos thinks an in-form Chicharito and healthy Vela promises a competitive match that could go either way, which he believes is good for the rivalry.
"As I say to LAFC fans because they want the LA Galaxy to lose — you want the Galaxy to win so you can have these games where you play each other that are so huge," he said.
Check out more from Bretos and the latest around the league in this week's episode of The Call Up.