Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has finally taken the field with the LA Galaxy.
The Mexican striker participated in his first training sessions with his new team Thursday after securing his required P-1 Visa earlier this week.
“I’m just very motivated — very happy and very excited to start doing what I love most, playing football, playing soccer,” Chicharito said after his first practice. “I’m very happy that I have my permit already and I can start training.”
Chicharito officially joined the Galaxy on Jan. 21, when he was signed to a deal reported to include a multimillion-dollar transfer fee and a base salary of around $6 million. But he was ineligible to work in the United States until his paperwork went through, and the process can sometimes be unpredictable.
The Mexican national team star is now officially on the Galaxy’s roster and will likely feature in preseason matches against Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire.
Asked if he felt the pressure to establish himself as a leader, Chicharito said it was a responsibility shared by every player on the roster.
“To be honest, I believe that every player has their leader inside in a different way,” he said. “Some are more quiet and work by example. Others speak a lot and are happy and joking. Other ones are more like those who put attention in the details and try to correct and improve other players. So, I believe we can all be leaders.”
After just one day training with the team, Chicharito clearly was still getting to know his teammates but when asked specifically about Aleksandar Katai and Cristian Pavón, two guys he’ll probably be depending on for service into the box, he said he thought the entire roster set the Galaxy up to compete.
“I always try to speak very good about everyone. We have a perfect team,” he said. “Even with me, or Jona (Dos Santos) or Pavon, if we want to win championships, it doesn’t depend on us three — it depends on the whole team, like all the teams I’ve played with. We have the capacity to do that.”