New MLS expansion club LAFC has not taken to the field yet but they still continue to make headlines heading into their inaugural season in 2018.
They recently announced their partnership with USL club Orange County Blues as its minor league club, their new soccer-specific stadium has commenced its construction in Downtown Los Angeles and will “shortly” announce news on its new general manager according to team vice president John Thorrington.
LAFC is also eligible to sign players whether it be prospects that can be loaned out to their USL affiliate or a marquee signing. One such name being floated around is Mexican international Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez who is currently playing in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen.
According to Spanish publication AS (via MLS.com), the Los Angeles-based club will push hard for the Mexican star’s signature.
“[LAFC] are going to do everything possible to sign the current Bayer Leverkusen player, whose contract ends in 2018 and could therefore leave for a reduced fee. That’s what AS.com has confirmed with sources close to the project. LAFC hope to announce their new manager this spring and a dream, a little later, to do the same with Javier Hernandez, aka Chicharito.”
City rivals LA Galaxy made a splash in 2015 by signing Chicharito’s compatriot Giovani dos Santos with much success. In addition the “Little Pea” has flirted with the idea of joining the MLS at some point in his career instead of playing in China.
“MLS is more attractive for me. But you never know what will happen in three, four or five years,” Hernandez told reporters in Florida, where Bayer Leverkusen is taking part in the Florida Cup. “Never say never.”
This has not been the first time MLS has been after Chicharito, Orlando City tried to acquire the Mexican goal scorer from Manchester United in 2015 and the LA Galaxy reportedly made a serious inquiry recently about the possibility of him joining them. It could inevitably happen once his contract ends in 2018.
Andres Guardado, Carlos Vela and Jonathan dos Santos are other players that have been linked to MLS in previous reports but Chicharito is arguably the more high-profile name out of the bunch. It would a be a huge coup for LAFC to capture the signature of Chicharito and would only make the LA rivalry that much more interesting.
If Chicharito joined LAFC, it would set up a highly anticipated match-up against dos Santos’ LA Galaxy and would create a huge soccer spectacle in Los Angeles. LAFC’s fan base is growing day by day and what better way to announce its arrival to the league than a star signing like Hernandez.