Galaxy, with Chicharito injured, seek scoring options
The Galaxy failed to pick up the scoring slack Sunday when a calf injury forced Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez out of the lineup against Sporting Kansas City.
Barring a remarkable recovery, the Galaxy will again be looking for someone else to score in Wednesday night’s game against FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. at Dignity Health Sports Park
Hernandez, who has 10 goals on the season, suffered the injury during warm-ups. Despite his absence, the Galaxy (7-4, 21 points) created several chances, especially in the first half, but in the end missed its Mexican star in the 2-0 defeat.
Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said Tuesday that Hernandez has a “mild strain.”
“Timeline, I’m not 100 percent sure, probably will not be available (against FC Dallas), but it’s nothing that’s too bad,” Vanney said. “I know last year, he had some issues with it and that was a little bit of some concern, but nothing that we’re seeing that’s anything long term.
“We feel like we can get him back here pretty quickly, hopefully by the time we return back to games (July 17), he’ll be good by then.
Hernandez’s calf injury last season cost him two months.
“The most important thing for us, him and everybody is that we make whatever this small issue is be the last part of this small issue, and we move forward,” Vanney said.
The Galaxy’s leading goal scorer behind Hernandez is Sacha Kljestan (two). With Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez away with the Mexican national team, only Kljestan and Sebastian Lletget (one) have scored goals this season.
Now would be a good time for new signees Kevin Cabral and Samuel Grandsir to get on the scoreboard.
In 11 games, Grandsir has one assist and seven shots on goal. Cabral joined the Galaxy as a young Designated Player and has just one assist, but has shown promise getting into good position while not converting.
“I think they’re progressing in terms of their pla. Cabral is often in some of the best positions for us to score a goal, he’s had some of our best chances in the last few games,” Vanney said. “He just hasn’t, for one reason or another, sometimes it’s a physical reason, sometimes it’s a pressure or stress reason. He hasn’t been fortunate enough or executed well enough to put the ball in the back of the net.
“The first and most important thing is that he’s getting chances and he’s getting to those spots and he’s showing that he can be a dangerous player. I said to him today (Tuesday), I want him to relax a little bit in his mind, take the stress off, the ball will hit the back of the net. I don’t want him to feel too much pressure and stress on that, but I want him to have a little more attention in his body, a little more physicality, a little more strength when he goes in, a little more decisiveness when he gets in that final moment. When he can find that right balance, the ball is going to hit the back of the net and things will start to flow.”
Galaxy extends Araujo contract
The Galaxy announced that defender Julian Araujo has signed a contract extension through the end of the 2025 season.
Araujo, 19, is in his third season with the Galaxy. He will now occupy a U22 Initiative roster spot.
The new initiative is for players younger than 22 and allows for MLS clubs to sign up to three players to “lucrative contracts at a reduced budget charge, decreasing the risk associated with acquiring or retaining players who are still approaching their prime.”
According to the MLS players union, Araujo had a 2021 base salary of $140,000.
FC Dallas at Galaxy
When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson
TV: Spectrum SportsNet