The LA Galaxy star admitted that his first year in MLS took an emotional toll due to a series of non-soccer challenges
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez admits that he hit “rock bottom” during his first season with the LA Galaxy.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star joined the club from Sevilla and was expected to be one of the biggest stars in MLS history.
But, amid a series of off the field issues, he struggled to adapt on the field, scoring just two goals in 12 appearances.
“I touched rock bottom,” he told the LA Times. “I lived things that normally you live through [in] five, 10 years, you know what I mean? It’s not an excuse. It’s reality. And the reality is I didn’t take responsibility. I wasn’t able to handle all of that.”
“When the end of the season came, I did a very profound critique. About my life, about myself. And I just decided that I can do much, much better. In the emotional and very spiritual side, when COVID hit, it was like a perfect time to expose the things that I haven’t worked with
“I took full responsibility of what is in my hands. My body, my mind, my emotions and I want to push them beyond, I don’t even want to even say limits. Because for me that doesn’t exist.”
Chicharito dealt with difficulties in 2020 that stretched beyond the pandemic that impacted everyone on the planet.
His grandfather, Mexican icon Tomas Balcazar, died at age-88 in April, just as criticism over Chicharito’s play was truly beginning.
Due to the coronavirus, Chicharito was unable to travel home for his grandfather’s funeral.
“I experienced, for the first time, the death of someone very close to me,” he said.. “It hit me in very different ways.”
As his on-field struggles played out in public, Hernández’s wife, model Sarah Kohan, took the couple’s two young children, 20-month-old Noah and 4-month-old Nala, home to Australia.
“Of course, I miss them,” Hernandez said of his kids. “I will love to be with my kids, obviously.”
He added: “I’m just a human! Every famous person, it’s like you sign an invisible contract with the fame. Of course, it’s a responsibility that you’re going to take. But that’s not against being a human.
“We’re all humans, you know?”
What’s next for Chicharito and the Galaxy?
With the MLS season set to resume in April, Chicharito will be stepping into a different situation for his second year with the Galaxy.
The club parted ways with coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, turning to former Toronto FC boss Greg Vanney, a former Galaxy player and an MLS Cup winner as a head coach.
But perhaps the most important move of the offseason for the Galaxy could be the return of one of the club’s stars as the club remains in pursuit of winger Cristian Pavon.
The Argentine was one of the few bright spots for the Galaxy, who finished 10th in the Western Conference last season, as Pavon has provided a total of 13 goals and 15 assists in 33 games with the club.
All of those goals and assists came while Pavon was on loan from Boca Juniors, with the Galaxy now looking to convince the club to sell for less than the originally-agreed-upon $20 million fee.
Still, the key for the club will be Chicharito’s performance as the Galaxy will need the forward to truly bounce back if they are to contend in 2021.