Javier Hernandez and the LA Galaxy could not have imagined a better start to their first season under new head coach Greg Vanney. Last year’s marquee addition for the Galaxy, Hernandez is under pressure to perform this season but matched his goal scoring total from last season with a brace in the 3-2 victory over Inter Miami to open the season.
“Last season was the toughest in my career, I just want to get that confidence back with everyone,” Hernandez told ABC after the match. “It does not matter how many goals I score in the beginning or the end, I just want to help my team achieve a championship.”
The Galaxy went down 1-0 just before halftime but head coach Greg Vanney made a tactical adjustment in the second half, bringing on Ethan Zubak and switching to a 4-4-2.
The move proved pivotal in allowing Hernandez to unlock the Inter Miami defense in the 62nd and 73rd minute and Sacha Kljestan found the winner in the 81st minute.
“I think what we showed is that resilience and at first things weren’t working but from the manager to us we can adapt ourselves, and in the danger we are completely ready,” said Hernandez after the match.
The first goal for Hernandez came via an assist from Zubak as Hernandez took a touch around the defender, burying a left-footed shot past Inter Miami goalie John McCarthy.
“I think having a guy like Ethan next to him really helped to move the center-backs and give him (Javier Hernandez) a little more open space around the front of the goal,” said head coach Greg Vanney.
Hernandez completed the brace after McCarthy spilled the rebound off of a Zubak header and the Mexican International slid in to redirect the loose ball into the back of the net.
“All of us believe in him and I could not be happier for him. It will be good for him to take the monkey off of his back and move forward” said Vanney.
Hernandez and the Galaxy will look to build on their first victory of the season when they travel to take on the New York Red Bulls on April 25.