LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney is delighted to see Javier Hernandez scoring, but assured his side’s success is a team effort ahead of a trip to Chicago Fire.
The Galaxy have tasted victory in their last two games, with their most recent win coming in a 2-1 triumph over rivals Los Angeles FC.
That leaves them just a point behind their neighbors Los Angeles, who lead the Western Conference, and Vanney is pleased to see his main striker finding the net.
“He’s not having to create these worldies; that would make me more concerned,” Vanney said.
“If we were relying on Javy to have to beat three guys and pin something in the upper corner from 25 yards out, I would tell you I’m really concerned about things.
“But these are team goals where he’s scoring because of the work of the team and getting the ball in great spots and allowing him to make the moves that he’s making. That’s a positive thing for the team.”
Opposition head coach Ezra Hendrickson was also keen to praise the Mexico star as he outlined the tough task the forward will pose for his side, who are sixth in the West.
“He’s a top-class player, and we know he’s very good, especially in the box, the 18-yard box,” Chicago head coach Ezra Hendrickson said midweek.
“He’s someone that we have to be aware of in the run of play, knowing exactly where he’s at all times.”
And Hernandez plans to put on a show as well.
“If you want to be a champion and you want to lift trophies, you need to play every single game like the one we just played against El Trafico,” he said.
“Of course it has a special feeling, emotion and everything, but it’s just an extra kind of thing.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chicago Fire – Kacper Przybylko
Kacper Przybylko will have to deliver for the Fire if they are to have any success here, he has a team-leading two goals in MLS this season.
LA Galaxy – Samuel Grandsir
Samuel Grandsir will be key to feeding the in-form Hernandez. In his last match, the winger created a team-leading two chances in the El Trafico.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The Galaxy are unbeaten in 11 straight matches against the Fire (W7 D4), with Chicago’s last win over LA coming in August 2010. Only one team has had a longer unbeaten run against Chicago in the Fire’s MLS history: 13 straight by Toronto from 2015 to 2021.
– The Fire’s five-match unbeaten run to begin the season ended with a 1-0 loss to Orlando City on Saturday. Going back to last season, Chicago has failed to score in six of its last eight MLS matches but scored five total goals in the other two games.
– The Galaxy have won four of their first six games of the season for the second consecutive year, including the last two in a row. They haven’t won three in a row since a four-game streak in August-September 2020, though this is their seventh two-game winning run in that time.
– The Fire have conceded a joint-league low two goals this season, despite having an expected goals against value of 7.6. The -5.6 difference between goals allowed and xG against is the best in MLS this season.
– Three of Chicharito’s five goals this season have been scored in the first 15 minutes of matches, including his 13th minute opener against LAFC on Saturday. Chicharito has scored an MLS-high six goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches since the start of last season.