Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez confirms contact with Diego Cocca over possible Mexico return
LA Galaxy figure Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez confirmed he spoke with new Mexican national team manager Diego Cocca over a potential return, revealing "the door is open".
The player currently stands as Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer, racking up 52 tallies in 109 appearances since debuting with El Tri against Colombia on February 24, 2010.
But his involvement with the national team dwindled after a controversy in 2019. The player broke concentration during a Nations League camp, creating conflict between himself and staff, according to former head coach Gerardo Martino.
Chicharito broke concentration during a Nations League camp, creating conflict between himself and staff, according to former head coach Gerardo Martino. Subsequently, the striker failed to receive call ups for World Cup qualifiers and did not make the 26-player roster for Qatar. He last featured for El Tri in September 2019, almost three years ago.
But a new cycle is upon the Mexican national team, giving way for a possible return.
"I received a call three weeks ago from Diego Cocca to inform me that, like myself and all the other Mexican players, our doors are open and everything would depend on our football level and the decisions that he makes," Chicharito said this week during a presentation for a real estate company he's recently invested in.
Cocca recently led the Mexican national team to his first competitive matches during the March international window, managing a 2-0 victory over Suriname and a 2-2 draw against Jamaica in the CONCACAF Nations League. Chicharito failed to make the 34-player roster, after suffering a hamstring injury before the start of the 2023 Major League Soccer season.
Chicharito has been on the sidelines since February, but he’s now expected to be back to training soon. LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney confirmed he remains unlikely to play on Saturday against the Seattle Sounders, but affirms "he’s certainly making progress".
"We'll start building him up to get ready as soon as he's ready, but that should be within the next week for sure," Vanney added.
Depending on form and fitness, Chicharito could see a return to the Mexican national team on April 19 in the friendly against the United States in Glendale, Arizona. The match does not fall on a FIFA sanctioned international break, limiting Diego Cocca’s options.
The head coach is expected to lean heavily on Liga MX figures, and certain Major League Soccer players.
Following the friendly, El Tri will prepare to face the United States again in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal on June 15 in Las Vegas Nevada, and Gold Cup on June 24.