Ricardo Pepi Becomes Youngest Player in MLS History to Score Hat Trick

Hat’s off to Ricardo Pepi

The 18-year-old Latino soccer player has become the youngest player in Major League Soccer history to score a hat trick, as Pepi led FC Dallas to a 5-0 win over the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening.

Ricardo Pepi

Pepi, who is 18 years, 197 days of age, increased his season goal total to a team-high eight with his first career hat trick. The El Paso, Texas, native is in his third season with the team.

FC Dallas emphatically snapped a three-match losing streak, all of which came on the road. FCD is a different team at home — it is now unbeaten in 17 straight home matches (with nine wins and eight draws), the longest active regular-season home unbeaten run in MLS.

Pepi put FC Dallas on the board in the 27th minute when he finished off a pass from Andres Ricaurte that bounced off Galaxy defender Daniel Steres. Pepi’s kick from the center of the box was placed in the right corner past Los Angeles goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.

Pepi added his second goal in the 44th minute, making short work of a corner kick from Jesus Ferreira that Pepi headed off the back LA defender Derrick Williams. The rebound landed at Pepi’s feet at a severe angle to the goal, but the teen was up to the task.

The third goal came in the 50th minute after FCD midfielder Szabolcs Schon carried the ball deep into the box and fought off two Los Angeles defenders before passing to Pepi in front of the goal. Pepi moved the ball to his right foot and sent a low shot into the left corner of the net to all but end the Galaxy’s chances.

Jimmy Maurer made three saves to earn his second shutout of the season and the 13th of his six-year MLS career.

Jader Obrian added FCD’s fourth goal in 88th minute to cap the scoring.

The Galaxy are 0-2-1 over their past three matches, their longest stretch of the season without a victory.

It was Los Angeles’ fifth consecutive match without injured leading scorer Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez as well as midfielders Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez, both of whom are with the Mexican team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Major League Soccer’s Highest-Paid Player: LAFC’s Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela has the biggest wallet in Major League Soccer

The 32-year-old Mexican professional footballer, who captains MLS club Los Angeles FC (LAFC), is the league’s highest-paid player with a base guaranteed compensation of $6.3 million, according to salary data published by the MLS Players Association.

Carlos Vela 

Vela edged out Mexican compatriot and cross-town rival Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez of the LA Galaxy for the top spot. While Hernandez had a base salary of $6m compared to Vela’s $4.5m, the LAFC striker won out based on greater guaranteed bonuses, marketing bonuses and agent’s fees which are included in the calculations and annualized over the terms of a player’s contract, including option years.

Inter Miami CF‘s Gonzalo Higuain ($5.79m), Toronto FC‘s Alejandro Pozuelo ($4.69m), Atlanta United FC‘s Josef Martinez ($3.89m) and Toronto’s Jozy Altidore ($3.6m) rounded out the top six earners.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the salary report was the first to take place since September of 2019, with the data current as of the April 15 roster compliance date. The report is also the first since the two sides agreed on a series of Collective Bargaining Agreements with the latest revision taking place in February of this year.

The MLSPA stated that the average base salary for senior roster non-Designated Players has doubled over the last five years, and is currently $398,725. This figure doesn’t include players making the senior minimum ($81,375) or reserve minimum ($63,547) salaries.

The average guaranteed base compensation for the entire player pool is $423,232 up 2.72% from the September 2019 mark of $411,996. The median guaranteed base salary is $210,000. In a sign that the salaries of players at the bottom of the wage scale are improving, the league’s median guaranteed base compensation was $210,000, up 17% from the September 2019 mark of $179,498.

In terms of team payroll based on guaranteed base compensation, Inter Miami‘s is the highest at $17.8m followed by Toronto at $17m. The LA Galaxy ($16.8m), Atlanta United ($16.1m) and FC Cincinnati ($15.5m) completed the top five. The Vancouver Whitecaps had the lowest payroll at $8.7m followed by Austin FC ($9.1m), the Philadelphia Union ($9.3m), Houston Dynamo FC ($9.5m) and the Colorado Rapids ($10.1m).

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in Talks to Transfer to LA Galaxy

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez may be heading to a new galaxy…

The LA Galaxyare in talks with the 31-year-old Mexican professional footballer, who plays as a striker for Spanish club Sevillaand the Mexico national team.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez,

A Galaxy spokesperson told ESPN that the club continues to speak to Hernandez and Sevilla about a transfer. A report from Marcastated that Sevilla is willing to part with Hernandez for a $10 million transfer fee, which would be a Galaxy record, but the Galaxy spokesperson said no deal was in place, nor was one imminent.

Galaxy general manager Dennis Te Kloese told the Los Angeles Times about the possible acquisition of Hernandez, adding: “I think he could be good for us. We’ll give it a serious try.”

Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals, is in his first season with Sevilla after moving last summer from West Ham Unitedfor $8.7 million, but he has found playing time hard to come by. Hernandez has made just 15 league and cup appearances, scoring three goals.

The Mexico legend would be tabbed to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who, after scoring 31 league and playoff goals last season, departed the club and eventually signed for AC Milan

Given his Mexico roots, Hernandez figures to be a massive box office draw, should he sign with the Galaxy.

After breaking in with Liga MXside Chivasin 2006 and spending four years with the club, Hernandez has spent the bulk of his career in Europe, suiting up for the likes of Manchester UnitedReal MadridBayer Leverkusen, West Ham and eventually Sevilla.

At club level, Hernandez has scored 156 goals in 424 club appearances. He was on two Premier League-winning sides with Manchester United in 2010-11 and 2012-13, and he won the 2006 Apertura with Chivas.

At international level, he has been part of three World Cupsquads with Mexico, making 109 appearances.

Chicharito Signs with Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen

Javier Hernandez is bidding Auf Wiedersehen to Manchester United.

The 27-year-old Mexican striker, commonly referred to by his nickname “Chicharito,” completed on Monday his move for three seasons from Manchester United to Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen, as both clubs announced in separate statements.

Javier “Chicharito" Hernandez

Chicharito, who has played in the Premier League and La Liga, two of the three major European leagues, says he now wants to play in the Bundesliga, adding that a club like Bayer Leverkusen is a great opportunity for him.

The striker, who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, has signed a three-year contract after the clubs agreed a fee believed to be around $11.2 million.

Chicharito scored nine goals last season with Real Madrid in 33 games and scored 59 times with Manchester United in 157 games.

The striker has managed to score 40 goals in 74 games with the Mexican national team and will wear the No. 7 jersey with the German club, in which he will play until June 30, 2018.

“With Chicharito, we have more possible variations. I am delighted that he has chosen to join Bayer Leverkusen. The Bundesliga can look forward to seeing a great player,” the German club’s sporting director, Rudi Völler said, while Manchester United wished him “the very best of luck for the future.”

Hernandez Joining Real Madrid on Season-Long Loan from Manchester United

Javier Hernandez is leaving the United Kingdom…

The 26-year-old Mexican soccer star, known simply as Chicharito, is set to join Real Madrid on a season-long loan from Manchester United with an option for a permanent deal.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

United had received offers from Juventus and Valencia for Hernandez last week, but he opted to move to Real Madrid.

The Mexico international sealed the loan to the European champion after passing a medical on Monday.

A statement on the Spanish club’s official website reads: “Real Madrid and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Javier Hernandez Chicharito, who will be attached to the club for the current season. Real Madrid retains an option to purchase the player.

“Javier Hernandez Chicharito will give a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu today Monday at 4:30 p.m.”

The former Premier League champions allowed Hernandez to leave after they agreed to bring in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, another reported target of Real, on loan.

Hernandez has slipped further down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent years after the arrivals of Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and now Falcao.

He signed for 6.9 million pounds from Guadalajara in 2010 and was named United’s player of the year in his debut season, when he scored 20 goals.

He has gone on to score 59 goals in 154 games for the club but started only six league matches last season. While he began the current campaign in the team, he was substituted at halftime in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

Hernandez, who has scored 36 times in 66 caps for his country, becomes the third Mexican to play for Real after Jose Luis Borbolla and Hugo Sanchez, who scored 208 goals for the 32-time champions of Spain.

Mexico boss Miguel Herrera had earlier tweeted: “Going to Real Madrid is a big opportunity for [Hernandez], for whom I wish the best of success.”

 

Hernandez is expected to understudy first-choice striker Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu. In the past five years, no player has scored more goals as a substitute in the top five European leagues than Hernandez, who has struck 14 times after coming off the bench.

Hernandez will join James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas among Real’s summer signings.

Hernandez Staying Put at Manchester United

Javier Hernandez isn’t making plans to leave England anytime soon… The Mexican soccer star has signed a new five-year deal with Manchester United.

Chicharito, as he’s known, was signed to the English professional football club from his hometown club of Chivas de Guadalajara last summer and made an instant impression, scoring in his debut game against Chelsea. At the end of his first season, The 23-year-old striker had scored 23 goals for United.

javier-hernandez-signs-a-new-five-year-deal-with-manchester-united

“Playing for Manchester United has been a dream come true,” says Hernandez. “I never expected my first year to go so well and I’m delighted to commit my future to United. To win a title and appear in a Champions League final was fantastic. I’m looking forward to helping my teammates as we bid to win more trophies for this great club.”

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t be happier with the news.

“His talent for creating space in the box and his finishing ability mark him out as a natural goalscorer,” says Ferguson. “Off the pitch, he is a pleasure to manage. He works very hard and is a popular member of the squad.”

Hernandez’s new deal will see him stay at Old Trafford until the end of the 2015/16 season.

Hernandez, who joined Chivas de Guadalajara at the age of nine, signed his first professional contract when he was only 15.