Now that the LA Galaxy know when they'll be playing their group stage matches at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, the next order of business is getting Mexican star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez into good goalscoring form.
Although El Tri's all-time leading scorer looked sluggish in his first two MLS matches several months ago, Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said in an interview with MLS Español Wednesday he believes the striker will still excel, perhaps as early as in Orlando.
“The reason we looked for a player like [Chicharito] is for his presence in our group, the example he shows, his professionalism and his goals," Schelotto said. "If the team plays well, he’ll score goals. He’ll be fine. We’re really calm, even if he didn’t score a goal in his first two games.”
Even so, there could be some incoming reinforcements, particularly after the club mutually parted ways with Aleksandar Katai earlier this month. But Schelotto said the club "haven't initiated any discussions" with European-based Argentine stars Javier Pastore or Gonzalo Higuain, both of whom have been linked at times with the Galaxy.
“We’re always studying how we can improve," Schelotto said. "We’re always looking at players. The 2021 season is coming. The departure of Aleksandar Katai gives us the possibility to add players. In Orlando we can analyze where we need help. Not necessarily an attacker — we’re talking about a piece that will help us to be better. In Orlando we’re going to face real competition and this will help us to make the best decision.”
Also concerning next year, Cristian Pavon sees his loan from Boca Juniors run out at the end of 2020. He's been arguably the most consistent performer for Schelotto since his arrival last summer. But the added uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — which is currently hitting South America very hard — could make the likelihood of working out a permanent deal even harder to predict.
"We’re going to have to speak to Boca Juniors and reach an agreement or not. It doesn’t help to make any statements before that," Schelotto said. "In Argentina soccer has stopped. It’s tough to put a value on a player in Argentina, beyond what’s in writing. He’s a player we want to hold on to."