LA Galaxy striker Chicharito was stretchered off the pitch in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match against Real Salt Lake with a right knee injury, the team confirmed. He is waiting on an MRI for further details. Here’s what you need to know:
- Chicharito went down in the 23rd minute with no apparent contact and immediately signaled for help.
- Dejan Joveljić replaced Chicharito in the match.
- Real Salt Lake defeated LA Galaxy 3-2 to advance to the U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
What a long-term absence would mean for the Galaxy
While Chicharito has struggled to replicate his best form in front of goal this season, finding the net just once in the league, a long-term injury would be a significant blow to the Galaxy’s hopes of turning the current campaign on its head, with the five-time MLS Cup champions sitting bottom of the Western Conference.
In his absence, coach Greg Vanney will turn to Serbia international striker Joveljić, whose best performances in MLS have typically come when starting on the bench. With added responsibility as the club’s primary source of goals without Chicharito, it’ll be up to Joveljić to carry much of the attacking burden, at least until the summer transfer window.
Chicharito is out of contract at the end of this campaign, and, depending on the extent of the injury, tonight’s Open Cup defeat to Real Salt Lake may be the last Galaxy fans see of the 109-time Mexico international. Since signing from Sevilla in 2020, he has scored 38 goals in 74 league games. — Burke
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)