Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez have been teammates plenty of times, with over 180 combined appearances for Mexico on the international stage. They also both came through the youth system at Chivas de Guadalajara, one of Liga MX’s biggest clubs.
But throughout all their various stops, the forwards have never been opponents at the professional level. That’ll all change soon, with the first El Trafico of 2020 scheduled for May 16 at Banc of California Stadium. A match at Dignity Health Sports Park is set for Aug. 23.
That encounter will come nearly four months after Chicharito arrived with the LA Galaxy in a blockbuster deal Tuesday. Meanwhile, Vela has been with LAFC since the club’s inaugural 2018 campaign and is coming off a 34-goal, 15-assist season that saw him earn Landon Donovan MVP Award honors.
Vela was in discussions with Chicharito before his fellow Designated Player departed Sevilla for Southern California, but pleasantries are already being put aside with El Trafico on the horizon.
“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,” Vela said in a sit-down interview with MLSsoccer.com’s Calen Carr. “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 trash talk goes both ways, with Vela insisting LA leans to the Black & Gold, Supporters’ Shield winners in 2019.
“He already knows, I already told him that if he comes here, he’s going to lose and if he scores a goal I will score one more than him,” Vela told Univision. “He’s already warned, he knows if he’s coming here.”
In La Liga, Vela and Chicharito have played in the same game before, a Jan. 31, 2015 meeting between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. However, Vela was subbed off in the first half through injury and Chicharito entered late for Los Blancos in the second half.