In what seems like forever ago now, much was made following the first two weeks of the 2020 MLS season about Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's lack of scoring opportunities for the LA Galaxy, especially compared to highly productive predecessor Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The current suspension of MLS play due to the coronavirus pandemic, set to continue through at least through May 10, has naturally pushed sporting concerns to the side, but may offer something of a fresh start for the Mexican international when play resumes.
But to hear Galaxy GM Dennis Te Klose explain it to TUDN, perhaps the pressure to deliver is not solely on Hernandez.
"We acquired Javier Hernandez with the intention of building a team that did not depend on individuals,” Te Kloese told TUDN’s Locura Deportiva. “When Ibra left, it was impossible to replace him. There’s no other Ibra in the world. The idea was how we could shape the team in a different style with a philosophy that was attached to pressing together and attacking as a team.”
Hernandez, Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer, joined the Galaxy in January for a fee reported in Spanish media as around $10 million. Through two games with LA, he has taken two shots, and none on target. Overall, the Galaxy had just one attempt on target in their most recent game, a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 7.
Te Kloese suggested part of the early struggles could be due to a learning curve of adjusting to that new vision.
“Obviously, it’s a different style with Ibrahimovic than without him — they’re very different things,” Te Kloese continued. “But the reality is that he’s not here. He’s at Milan and we are currently building [our team]. And with the team we have, we think we can do well in MLS this year.”