American Football

Is Hernandez the biggest MLS signing since Beckham?

The English superstar paved the way for a generation of high-profile players to join MLS but none have quite matched "Goldenballs'" star pulling power.Until now.Javier Hernandez, known across the world as Chicharito, has the potential to make an even bigger impact than Beckham, not only for the Galaxy, but for the league as a whole.The club reportedly paid $10 million for his services — a huge transfer fee by MLS standards — and will make him the highest paid player in the league on an annual salary reported to be in the region of $6 million.But the payoff of signing Hernandez could be far greater than any fee or wages LA Galaxy spend on the Mexican superstar.The 31-year-old is Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer and arguably the nation's greatest ever player, adored and idolized like few before him."Chicharito is an outstanding player," Mexican Football Federation president Yon de Luisa told CNN. "He's the Mexican national team's leading scorer historically and I am sure he is going to have an outstanding participation here in LA. "He's going to develop a magnificent rivalry against Carlos Vela, who is his friend, and they will be playing head-to-head in this civil war in LA," added De Luisa, referring to Hernandez's Mexican international teammate who plays for rival Los Angeles FC."I really think it's going to be a good thing for the city, for MLS and for us as well to have Chicharito closer to the national team."READ: LA Galaxy's search for new talent 10 years after signing David BeckhamREAD: How David Beckham turned his Miami MLS dream into a reality

Hispanic fanbase

Hernandez joins MLS at a time that has seen it fall further behind the USA's two most popular leagues: the Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX.According to World Soccer Talk, in 2018 Liga MX drew in 105,636,000 viewers in the US, almost double the Premier League's total of 62,133,000.MLS was even further behind with just 31,350,000, giving it the smallest audience growth since 2016 at just 8% — compared to the Premier League's 69% and Liga MX's 46%.Hernandez's addition to the league, then, is likely to pull in a huge numbers of Mexican viewers, both on TV and in stadiums the Galaxy will play in across the country.According to the United States Census Bureau, almost 37 million of the USA's 327 million population (11.3%) identified as being of full or partial Mexican origin. Los Angeles, the home city of the Galaxy, boasts the second largest Hispanic population of all US cities with 1.8 million — behind only New York City's 2.27 million — making up 48.5% of the total population.The Mexican national team can also boast far larger attendance figures for its matches in the USA than the USMNT.Of the 12 international matches played on US soil in 2019, attendance figures totaled 690,554 — an average of 57,546 per game — Read More – Source

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