A few of the new famous faces in MLS this season:
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez
Team: L.A. Galaxy
Previous club: Sevilla
Will face Atlanta United: On July 18 in Los Angeles.
Hernandez is an enigma: He is Mexico’s all-time leading scorer (52) and its most popular player, but for clubs outside of Mexico he’s rarely been able to lock down a starting spot, even though he does produce for them with 156 goals across 422 appearances, starting with Chivas in Mexico and continuing to Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham and Sevilla. At 31 years old, it will be interesting to see how he handles the travel of MLS and if he will be able to live up to the massive billing and pressure that comes with his popularity.
» MORE: Atlanta United’s 2020 schedule
Team: Inter Miami
Previous club: Monterrey
Position: Attacking midfielder
Will face Atlanta United: May 24 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and July 23 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The 25-year-old should have a bigger impact on the field than Hernandez because he is younger and plays in a position (attacking midfielder) in which he will be on the ball more. He has 33 goals and 29 assists across all competitions for clubs and five goals in 25 appearances for Mexico.
Team: D.C. United
Previous club: Morelia
Position: Winger/Attacking midfielder
Will face Atlanta United: Fourth of July at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Oct. 4 at Audi Field.
D.C. United lost Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta so it needed some firepower up front the Peruvian, along with former Atlanta United players Julian Gressel and Yamil Asad, should help. D.C. Atlanta United paid a reported $5 million for the 25-year-old, who scored seven goals in 21 appearances in LIGA MX.
Team: Sporting KC
Previous club: Chivas
Will face Atlanta United: March 14 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Defense (67 goals allowed), not offense, was Sporting KC’s trouble last season but teams don’t pass up a chance at a bona fide striker who has scored more than 55 goals in LIGA MX.
Previous club: Tigres
Will face Atlanta United: June 27 in Columbus and Sept. 26 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The 27-year-old attacker will pair with former Atlanta United midfielder Darlington Nagbe in the center of Columbus’ formation to give the Crew the makings of a strong spine with Gyasi Zardes as striker.
Previous club: Botafogo
Will face Atlanta United: July 12 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The midfielder strengthens Seattle’s spine and gives them an excellent free-kick taker.
Previous club: Espanyol in Spain
Will face Atlanta United: May 27 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Sept. 12 at BMO Field in Toronto.
The 31-year-old has made more than 300 appearances in Spain, so it’s going to be interesting to see how much he has left after dealing with the travel rigors of MLS. He will no doubt combine well with Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore.
Team: Minnesota United
Previous club: Universidad Católica in Ecuador
Will face Atlanta United: Aug. 9 at Allianz Field.
He has promised to score 25 goals, which would be a huge mark and make one of the Loons one of the favorites to win the West.
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