Mexico

Chicharito praised as West Ham striker hits form

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is becoming quite the cult hero at West Ham United, just a few weeks after admitting he wanted to leave the east London club in January.

Hernandez, 29, scored West Ham’s opening goal in their 2-0 win against Watford last weekend, had another disallowed and was a constant pest as the Hammers continued to ease their relegation fears considerably since David Moyes arrived to take charge in November.

The all-time leading goalscorer for Mexico’s national team has now scored three goals in his last four games in the Premier League, which is his best run of form since returning to England last summer following two years in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.

Many fans of El Tri feared that Moyes’ arrival at West Ham (he benched Hernandez often during his time in charge of Manchester United) would spark a sharp downturn in playing time for Hernandez and although initially that seemed to be the case due to an injury of his own, injuries and outgoings involving other strikers in January suddenly handed him the chance to stake his claim as their first-choice striker.

He’s taken it with both hands and is a real handful up top with Michail Antonio, Joao Mario and Marko Arnautovic supporting him in attack.

“Chicharito is a top striker. I’ve got a great relationship with him and he deserves his goals because he is a hard worker. I’m really happy for him and for the team,” West Ham’s goalkeeper Adrian said after the game.

Hernandez has turned things around very quickly with the Hammers and although the fans have always appreciated his predatory instincts, it appeared he may not fit into their system under Slaven Bilic and then his successor Moyes.

With seven goals in 15 PL starts (plus six appearances off the bench) in his debut season at the London Stadium, Hernandez is West Ham’s second top goalscorer and the move has done his reputation as a serial scorer no harm at all.

Whether or not he remains at West Ham beyond this season remains to be seen but he will have plenty of suitors and, more importantly for Mexico, he is in form and scoring goals ahead of the 2018 World Cup this summer.

Liga MX to consider suspending pro/rel

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Liga MX could take a page out of Major League Soccer’s book, at least temporarily.

The Committee for Sports Development in Liga MX is considering a number of proposals to add to the league’s rule book, including potentially suspending promotion and relegation between Liga Acensio and Liga MX for four years starting in 2019, supposedly to ensure that Liga Acensio clubs meet new Mexican FA standards for when they are promoted.

“There are many proposals on the table, that is one (suspending promotion and relegation),” Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla said. “They handle all the possibilities, extremes and means, until after all is the best decision that can be applied and that is the best for Mexican football.”

Obviously, the move would be controversial in Mexico and around the world, but it would breathe a sigh of relief for some mainstay clubs such as Chivas and Atlas out of Guadalajara, which have been relegation threatened in the past.

Liga MX relegates just one team a year and accepts a new one from Liga Acensio each summer, and the FMF uses a different formula to decide who goes down. Instead of just picking the bottom team after the season, instead an overall coeficcient is put together of a team’s last six tournaments (apertura and clausura), with points added up to help determine a team’s coefficient.

Currently, Veracruz sits in the drop zone with 12 games left in the Liga MX Clausura.

Chicharito admits he wanted to leave West Ham in January

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With many players across the globe vying for places in their respective national teams, one player Premier League admitted that he was seeking a move away from his club side in order to help secure his spot with Mexico.

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was at the center of transfer rumors during the January transfer window, however, a move to send him away from West Ham United never came to fruition.

The El Tri striker joined the Hammers ahead of the 2017/18 season, and is the joint-leading goalscorer for the club in all competitions, with six goals.

However, Hernandez has at times not been selected as a regular in the starting team, prompting his interest in a move away from the London Stadium.

“Yes, it was the case that I wanted to go,” Hernandez told the Daily Mirror. “Not because I don’t like West Ham, but because I need to have minutes on the pitch.

“The World Cup is just around the corner and I want to play. But you can see that, even though my agent says I want to go, I have been doing everything I can in a West Ham shirt to help the team.

“Against Bournemouth I scored a goal [in a 1-1 draw], I tried to play pretty well in the [FA] Cup [a 2-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic] and, in the last game, against Crystal Palace [a 1-1 draw], I tried to do my best. I am a very professional guy and I want to do that.

“Words can come and go. Your acts are going to speak for themselves.

“Now that the window is closed I am here and trying to achieve the main goals for the club, which is to be safe from relegation. Then, in the summer, we will see.”

El Tri standout Moreno leaves Roma for Real Sociedad

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When last we caught up with Hector Moreno, he was set to be a major player in AS Roma’s bid for a Serie A title.

[ MORE: Cameron, Arena argue USMNT ]

Just over six months later, he’s returning to La Liga to help arrest a relegation slide… and lead a Europa League run.

The 30-year-old El Tri defender has left Rome for Real Sociedad on a $7.5 million deal, one day after his new club sold Inigo Martinez to Athletic Bilbao for about $40 million.

The club says he’s signed a deal to keep him with the txuri-urdin through the 2020-21 season. The move will allow him consistent playing time ahead of the World Cup.

Moreno made just five Serie A appearances for i Lupi, and Roma went 5-0 in those matches including a pair of clean sheets in his lone starts.

Real Sociedad is on a 1W-3D-6L run in league play and has won one match since a Nov. 5 defeat of Eibar. They have progressed to the Round of 32 in the Europa League, where they meet Red Bull Salzburg on Feb. 15 and 22.

Erick “Cubo” Torres leaves Houston for Pumas

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Welcome to your new home, Erick. Hope it goes a little better than your last stop.

Once among the most desired recruits on the Major League Soccer circuit after scoring 15 goals for lowly Chivas USA in 2014, Erick Torres is leaving the league to join Pumas UNAM.

He’ll head home to Mexico to rebuild an international career which stalled at four caps until this summer’s Gold Cup moved Torres to seven El Tri appearances.

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The move is somewhat of a surprise given the Houston Chronicle headline Tuesday: “Erick Torres says he intends to fulfill his Dynamo contract.”

Torres scored 14 goals in 27 matches for Houston last season, raising his value after not scoring an MLS goal in 2015 and 2016 combined (22 matches). Five of his goals, however, were penalty kicks.