The 2022 season is finally here. LA Galaxy kick off the season in just nine days as they look to rid themselves of the bitter end to last season. Yesterday, Galaxy forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández took time out to speak to media during the MLS is Back panel. One thing is clear, he has one focus going into 2022, doing anything, and everything, he can to help the Galaxy capture that elusive sixth MLS Cup.
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Javier and company already know what's at stake heading into this season. They don't need reminding, and they definitely don't have that sense of panic, or urgency, as they prepare for the new year. When asked about it Javier said “That sense of urgency, I don't that you mean because for us we learned a very hurtful lesson last season. We were the only team that was in a playoff position until the last second, when [Real] Salt Lake scored that last minute goal. We just want to maintain the positive things we did last season, and of course, improving other things so we don't experience that same moment that we did last season.”
Things started off great for the G’s last season, unfortunately an injury to Javier coincided with the team hitting a mid-season wall, where they found themselves dropping points in matches they probably should've won. Even with the injury, Chicharito scored 17 goals in just 21 matches played last season, a ratio that should he continue it this year, would go a long way to helping his team get back into the postseason. However, for him, it's all about the wins, whether that means scoring all the goals, or being more of a facilitator.
“I’m going to try to aim for that, but for me, I scored 17 goals in 21 games and I was home, watching the playoffs at my place. It didn't change a thing. The most important objective and goal is the team, always. For me, in my mind is always the organization's dream, the group dream, my family’s dream to qualify for playoffs and then try to win the sixth championship for this organization.”
He went on to add that if he only scored five goals in a season but put in great performances and did enough to help his team reach the playoffs, then that would be fine with him. This is nothing new from Javier though. Even through the turbulence of last season, all he spoke about was the team and the focus of finishing the job and getting into the postseason. While that didn't happen, it shows his mindset hasn't changed from the day he arrived in LA. As much as he wants to do good personally, his objective is getting that sixth championship for the Galaxy, and re-establishing this club as one of the best in the league.
While some players and coaches shy away from expectation, this group embraces it. They know what it means to represent the Galaxy, and they know the next step is getting back into the postseason and on the hunt for an MLS Cup. The good news is, in just nine days, all the talking can be done on the pitch and not at a panel.
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