Believe it or not, the circus at LAX last night upon Chicharito’s arrival was largely overshadowed on social media by a documentary released on Wednesday, which included a viral clip with the player talking through the move to the LA Galaxy in a phone conversation with his father and noting his “retiring from the European dream” and this is the “beginning of [his] retirement.”
Duele mucho verlo y escucharlo así— Goal México (@goalmex) January 23, 2020
Chicharito reconoció entre lágrimas con su familia que NO quería irse de Europa y que sólo buscaba "jugar" en el Sevilla porque se creía aún capaz
"Se acabó, es el principio del retiro" pic.twitter.com/bvHloKZTiV
The quotes here have divided folks. Some regard him as admitting MLS is poor, he’s coming to Los Angeles to essentially retire and take it easy, while others are lauding him for a nuanced picture of the latest step in a distinguished career, and his willingness to be open and honest in assessing his feelings here. Either way, it’s fascinating to see him be so honest, especially considering how quickly the Mexican press tends to jump on any sign of vulnerability in players.
More news for this Thursday morning:
- People jam at LAX: No surprise, people turned out in droves to say hello to Chicharito at the airport. It was packed, I’m sure the other people picking up passengers really appreciated the extra traffic. But seriously though, it was raucous, and Chicharito looked overwhelmed by the attention. If I’m being honest, I would also be overwhelmed by a reception like this after getting off an airplane.
Welcome home, @CH14_! pic.twitter.com/Ikmj9IOhdw— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 23, 2020
- Galaxy’s backup forward option? It was Argentine forward Rogelio Funes Mori, currently playing in Liga MX for Monterrey, according to SI.com’s Grant Wahl. He’s someone whose profile is in some ways very similar to Chicharito and is familiar with the U.S. — he lived in Texas for several years in his youth, and reportedly nearly signed with FC Dallas back in the day, before returning to Argentina and playing for River Plate. He’s a bit younger, 28 to Chicharito’s 31, but Funes Mori would not remotely have the name recognition of his counterpart, while Chicharito is pure box office gold. Obviously, getting the big star means the Galaxy are out of the running for Funes Mori, but Wahl claims the player could still come to MLS, at another team, and maybe soon.
- Kljestan was a Galaxy fan all along! Sacha Kljestan had a rough 2019 with Orlando City, but that club tends to see players move to new teams and look better and that’s what the Galaxy are hoping from the veteran midfielder. While the SoCal native started his career with Chivas USA, he admitted in a recent interview he was always a Galaxy fan: “I never rooted against the Galaxy,” he said. “I just always wanted to beat them when I played them because I had to play for my team. But deep down, I was always a Galaxy fan. I grew up going to the games at the Rose Bowl with my dad and brother, so to have me and my brother both at the club now is pretty awesome for my family.”
- Highly touted young GKs: One of the best American soccer goalkeeper pundits around, Bill Reno, ranked the top young goalkeepers in the men’s and women’s game, and his latest rankings highlight two current Galaxy pros: Justin vom Steeg is ranked No. 3 for the U-23 men, while new first-team signing Eric Lopez is No. 2 for U-22 men.
Today’s question: What do you make of the above comments from Chicharito about the Galaxy move being the start of his retirement, in a sense? Totally fair, overblown, something else? Leave a comment below, let’s chat!