Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has stressed that he wouldn't be at the MLS is Back Tournament if he did not feel completely safe. While there were some doubts about whether the Mexico star would be in Orlando due to his wife currently being pregnant, the LA Galaxy striker said he felt fully relaxed ahead of his team's opening game against the Portland Timbers on Monday (FS1, TUDN in US; TSN, TVAS in Canada).
"I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel safe, he told reporters on a media call Saturday. "I wouldn't take any risk or any chance having a pregnant woman and a kid at home. MLS is trying to do the best it can to try to prevent all of us from getting the virus. And in the case that someone can have it, I think they have a very good protocol to not spread the virus. We are all trying to do our best but life is not perfect there are moments you cannot control. But from my point of view, I'm feeling safe."
While Hernandez will compete in Orlando, Hernandez's compatriot Carlos Vela has remained at home to be with his wife during what he described as a risky pregnancy. Hernandez was quick to point out that their situations are different and that he fully respects the decision his friend made.
"We have a very good relationship and I don't what this to be like I took a correct decision and he didn't or the opposite," Hernandez said. "There's no better decision to stay at home or to come here. We only ourselves know what we're going through with our families, with ourselves, with our lives so I want to be very respectful and make that very clear."
Hernandez made clear it was not an easy decision to take part in the tournament given the COVID-19 pandemic but it was an important one.
"It was a very important decision for us to help the league to do we what we love most," he said. "I would hope that people acknowledge that. It showed that we want to keep helping this league to keep growing."
And despite the many health and safety protocols, Hernandez said he felt at ease in the setting of the Walt Disney World Resort.
"You are in with yourself, in a hotel room, with your teammates on the floor, of course you can relax," he said. "I've been very relaxed, watching Netflix, playing Call of Duty, playing FIFA, relaxing speaking a lot on Facetime with my son, with [wife] Sarah. I feel very relaxed.
"Hopefully, this can finish with a very good tournament at the end, hopefully with LA Galaxy winning this tournament."