Chicharito warms up before preseason debut
LA Galaxy

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez pleased with LA Galaxy preseason debut

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez made his preseason debut with the LA Galaxy in a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC at Dignity Health Sports Park Saturday night.

The Mexican international was in the starting XI and played 78 minutes before making way for Ethan Zubak.

What were Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s first impressions?

“I feel sorry a little bit, because we lost one player in the 25th or 30th minute,” the LA Galaxy coach said after the game. “Then it’s not the same, because we have to change the tactics, or you have to change sometimes the rules for the players on the pitch. And, maybe he can filter, he doesn’t have two players wide to give more possibilities for more goals for him.”

A straight red card issued to Aleksandar Katai just past the half-hour mark altered the game, especially as it pertained to Hernandez, who struggled at times to combine with Katai and Cristian Pavon.

But the 31-year-old said that is to be expected, especially on the first run out.

"That even happened with Luka Modric, with Robin Van Persie, with Paul Scholes, it doesn't matter. That is football,” Hernandez said. “For example, the first one that I got as well in the first half that I put to Aleksander that the defender blocked, there was another one where Sacha [Kljestan] did an excellent run behind me and I decide to shoot. It doesn't matter, the chemistry is always going to try to be as good as we try.”

Barros Schelotto said the plan was for Hernandez to play “70 or 75 minutes,” acknowledging the visa process, which included a midweek trip back to Mexico, wasn't ideal preparation for Saturday night.

Still, he was impressed with Hernandez, saying the Galaxy’s Designated Player twice came close to scoring only to be denied by Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

“I think he made good runs, and had a good game,” Barros Schelotto said.

Pavon, who scored the Galaxy’s lone goal, said he’s feeling more comfortable partnering with Hernandez.

“Since training, ‘Chicha’ and I have been feeling great,” he said via a translator. “We talk a lot on the field about our positioning. You were able to see on the field that we had chances to screen for each other and to pass to one another and we continue to play more games we are going to get better.”

What did Hernandez think of his debut and his team’s performance, despite being reduced to 10 men for most of the final 60 minutes?

“I am happy, I'm fine and speaking a little bit about myself and the team to play with 10 men we did pretty good and actually had chances after that, in particular one that I had,” Hernandez said. “There are good sensations and positives and, of course, there are a lot of things we need to improve like always and a lot of things we need to put attention to try to maintain that. That is why it is preseason.”