HOUSTON – Even the MLS All-Stars are caught up in the buzz surrounding Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
When asked what he was looking forward to in Wednesday’s All-Star match-up against Manchester United, Crew veteran Guillermo Barros Schelotto pointed to the young Mexican forward.
“I think that I would like to see how Hernandez is and to see if he’s at the level of Manchester United or not,” Schelotto said on Monday. “There are a lot of expectations there. There are many important players [on Manchester United] but for me, my expectation and knowing Mexican soccer, it’s for Hernandez.”
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando also highlighted the former Chivas Guadalajara striker among the players he’ll pay particular attention to on the English side.
“For me I’m excited to play against Scholes and Giggs since those are the guys I grew up watching,” Rimando said. “And Javier Hernandez. He was in the World Cup with the Mexican national team and it’ll be fun to play against him.”
Chicharito joined the English squad for the first time on Monday, but Sir Alex Ferguson indicated he would likely give him playing time in the All-Star Game after team staff evaluate his level of physical fitness.
“We’d like for him to be part of the game tomorrow because first I know there’s a big Mexican population and he’d be an exciting attraction for them,” Ferguson said. “Secondly we want to try to integrate him into the team as quickly as possible. Those are the two reasons we’d like to play him tomorrow.”
When he does take the field at Reliant Stadium, the MLS All-Stars will be prepared. Some are already familiar with his skill set and have faced him before.
“He’s a quick player and he’s feisty in the 18-yard box,” Rimando said. “We played against him last year with RSL when he was with Chivas. Very dynamic. He likes to go forward and get to balls over the top. And he likes to score goals and he scored a ton with Chivas. That’s why Manchester United signed him.”