Former Mexican national team stars Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and Carlos Vela will miss this week’s MLS-Liga MX All-Star Game activities, putting a major damper on the two leagues’ long-planned exhibition celebration.
Both players were expected to participate in Tuesday’s All-Star Skills Challenge, a two-hour event matching eight stars from MLS and the Mexican league in five events at Banc of California Stadium. Both players were also on the roster for Wednesday’s All-Star Game, the first to match an MLS team against a team of Liga MX players.
New England’s Carles Gil and Tajon Buchanan have also pulled out of the All-Star Game. As replacements, MLS has named Inter Miami midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro and Atlanta United defender George Bello to the roster.
In the past, MLS has required players who miss the All-Star Game to sit out their next club game, which would make Hernández and Vela unavailable for Saturday’s El Tráfico rivalry game between the Galaxy and LAFC at Banc of California.
Hernández, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 international goals, has missed more than half the Galaxy’s MLS season after straining his right calf two months ago. It’s the same injury that caused him to miss two months last season.
Hernández was leading the league with 10 goals after his last game in June.
Vela, who has played in two World Cups for Mexico and set the single-season MLS scoring record with 34 goals for LAFC in 2019, pulled himself out of last Saturday’s loss to Vancouver in the 15th minute with a quadriceps injury.
Vela, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, injured his right quadriceps in the first game this season and has been troubled by it all season. He reinjured it Saturday playing on artificial turf. He is second on the team with five goals this season.
“Carlos’ quad has bothered him throughout this season,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. “We were very cautious. It’s just a lingering injury that has hampered him throughout the season.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
Source: Yahoo Sports