LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy: Greg Vanney not worried by Chicharito goalscoring burden

Chris Smith
Chicharito has scored 56% of the Galaxy's goals this season.
Chicharito has scored 56% of the Galaxy's goals this season. / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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Picking up from where he left off in 2021, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez has scored five goals in six appearances to start the new MLS season.

The former Mexico international found the net 17 times last campaign, finishing just two goals behind eventual Golden Boot winner Taty Castellanos despite the LA Galaxy failing to make the Playoffs.

And this year, he already sits level with Jesus Ferreira and Brandon Vazquez atop that particular race, proving a decisive figure for the Galaxy in wins over the likes of LAFC and the Portland Timbers.

But if anything is going to derail the Galaxy - who sit second in the Western Conference following last week's win over LAFC in El Trafico - perhaps it's an overreliance on Chicharito. After all, the 33-year-old's five goals account for 56% of his team's total haul this season and he's the only player at the club with more than one strike to his name.

But head coach Greg Vanney isn't worried. All five of Chicharito's goals have come inside the box, while two of them have been within six yards. The Galaxy are building attacks for Chicharito rather than letting him drag their offense and in the likes of Douglas Costa and Kevin Cabral, they have elite chance creators who could service most strikers in MLS.

“He's not having to create these worldies; that would make me more concerned,” Vanney told reporters at a midweek press conference ahead of the Galaxy's trip to Chicago on Saturday. “If we were relying on Javy to have to beat three guys and pin something in the upper corner from 25 yards out, I would tell you I'm really concerned about things.

“But these are team goals where he's scoring because of the work of the team and getting the ball in great spots and allowing him to make the moves that he's making. That's a positive thing for the team.”

In fact, the Galaxy having an in-form, ruthless striker in their ranks who is taking up most of the goalscoring burden offers encouragement to Vanney. From NYCFC and Castellanos to Atlanta United and Josef Martinez, all the success stories in recent MLS history have involved a talismanic center-forward.

"You look at the season that some of the top scorers in our league have had, guys that are true strikers, you look at the seasons they put together, and they tend to score close to 50% or 40% of their team's goals, the guys who are true finishers and true strikers like Javy is. That's kind of about where it's at," Vanney added.

Chicharito himself shared Vanney's view that his goalscoring run is only possible because of the work of his teammates to break down the opposition and create chances.

"It's only the consequence and the reflection of the whole team," said the former Man Utd and Real Madrid forward. "Because we are strikers and of course we are forwards and we want to help our teamwith goals as many as we can, but that's only a consequence of all the effort, all the buildups, all the trainings, and everything that we all do."

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