LOS ANGELES – The deal bringing Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez to the LA Galaxy was not a lengthy pursuit, but like a Chicharito finish, simply a case of being at the right place at the right time.
Los Angeles announced the signing of the all-time leading Mexican goal scorer to a Designated Player contract on Tuesday morning. The 31-year-old joins the Galaxy following stints at Chivas de Guadalajara, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham, and most recently, Sevilla.
Tuesday’s deal ends a rapid courtship that began in earnest earlier this month with a simple text by Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese to Hernandez’s agent Lorenzo Roman Garcia.
After noticing the player went unused in a crucial league match following the New Year, te Kloese, deeply familiar with Hernandez’s competitive streak from his time as the director of the Mexican national team, shot the agent a text.
“I said, 'how did Javi take that he wasn’t used in the game'?” te Kloese recalled in a conversation with LAGalaxy.com, aware that Hernandez had seen little time during his stint at Sevilla. “He replied, oh, you wouldn’t believe it. He wants to go to L.A.
“You can’t pick your moment,” LA Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese told LAGalaxy.com. “This is the moment that we need him, and this is a perfect moment for him to come to us as well.”
Those simple actions turned the Galaxy's focus away from other targets to signing the Galaxy’s Mexican forward in earnest. Just days later, a Galaxy delegation of te Kloese, technical director Jovan Kirovski, and head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto headed to Sevilla to negotiate a move to bring the prolific Mexican striker.
The trip was an essential show of faith and interest from the Galaxy group, who describe their partnership as a “perfect balance” of personalities and skillsets.
“This was a good team group effort, and I think it was, it was great for everybody. At the end of the day, negotiations are hard. It was hard till the death, I mean even with the player,” Kirovski said. “But in the end, everybody was happy, and that's the best part. The player's happy, the club's happy, Sevilla is happy, and we got it done in the end even though there are emotional turns, ups, and downs.”
With the deal secured, te Kloese expects big things from his new striker with the Galaxy.
"There is no denial that off the field he has a big impact, but I think that if he does what I expect on the field, he'll have an even greater impact," te Kloese said.