What was already a poor season for the Galaxy turned significantly worse Wednesday as captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez The team had to be carried off the field midway through the first half of the game due to a right knee injury US Open Cup Quarterfinals in Sandy, Utah.
Real salt lake won the game 3-2, scoring two goals from Damir Kreilach in the first half and one from Jefferson Savarino early in the second half, then repelling an angry Galaxy advance from behind goals Gaston Brugman And Douglas Costa in the last eight minutes of regulation time.
Of more concern, however, was the condition of Hernández, the team’s top scorer for the past two seasons.
“I hope and pray it’s nothing serious. But I have concerns because the man had to be taken off the field,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said of Hernández, who was scheduled to meet with the team’s doctors upon his return to Los Angeles.
“We won’t know until we do an MRI to see where it is. So we keep our fingers crossed. But we don’t yet know what we’re dealing with.”
Hernández stormed the center of the RSL defense in the 24th minuteth minute, he stretched about 15 yards outside the box after a pass from team-mate Riqui Puig. Hernández, untouched in the game, then fell to the grass and immediately waved to the Galaxy bench for help when Puig and three RSL players came in to comfort him.
He was carried off the pitch into the dressing room, his face covered with a towel and shaking his head as his teammates slapped him on the shoulder.
Hernández, Mexico’s all-time top scorer with 52 international goals, who turned 35 last week, is the final year of a deal that will guarantee him $7.4 million this season, making him the league’s third highest-paid player. His 35 goals in the last two full seasons is the second-most in MLS over that span, but he has started just seven regular-season games this season, recording one goal and one assist.
He had to sit out the first five MLS games due to a hamstring injury and the Galaxy didn’t win any of them. The team sits 5-10-3 across all competitions this season and is bottom in the MLS standings.