Expect to see a lot of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez in the US this summer.
The Bayer Leverkusen forward plans to suit up for Mexico at the Copa América Centenario, he told the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter this week.
Chicharito, like another superstar, Barcelona's Neymar, had the presumptive choice of playing in the Copa América Centenario, a special edition of South America's championship hosted in the US for the first time this year, or in the 2016 Rio Olympics. While the timing could allow for the players to play in both tournaments, each star was expected for combined club and personal reasons to choose one tournament or the other. Neymar will play in the Olympics for Brazil.
While having a Brazilian international play in the Olympics hosted in Brazil is not altogether surprising, Chicharito missed out on playing in the 2012 London Olympics, where Mexico won the gold medal, and there was some speculation he may want to play the Olympics this time around. But he confirmed he will be playing in the Copa America.
"The federation wants me to go to Copa América and I decided to go to Copa América," Hernandez said in the LA Times report.
"Not because I don’t want to go to the Olympics. It’s because it’s the best for...my club, for me and for the federation."
Preliminary 40-man rosters for the Copa America Centenario are due May 2, and the final 23-man rosters will be announced by May 20. The tournament kicks off on June 3 as the US play Colombia at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Mexico open their campaign June 5 against Uruguay at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.