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Late on Tuesday night, a small earthquake rumbled across the Los Angeles basin.

Was it harbinger of something bigger to come, or just another of the many temblors we have grown accustomed to in the Southland? You know, the ones that wake you up, you acknowledge, before realizing it’s not even a four-pointer and you just yawn and go back to sleep?

As news of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez being officially announced as the newest member of the Los Angeles Galaxy spread across the landscape, there was no denying that something big had just happened. When Brad the Resource Manager comes to your desk to ask you about the guy that just joined the local pro soccer team you realize the impact of Chicharito’s arrival.

Even before the ink on his contract was drying, everyone from Alexi Lalas to Eugenio Derbez was offering their two cents on Chicharito joining Major League Soccer. Across social media you will find the usual: adulation, celebration, dismay, disappointment.

Whatever flavor you prefer your news, take a swig of water, swirl it around your mouth and cleanse your palate.

Despite the acquisition of Chicharito, have you noticed that no one has stepped forward to declare the Galaxy as one of the favorites to win MLS Cup in 2020? That’s because the team isn’t there quite yet. With the Galaxy still in the mire of a rebuild, there are many question marks about the new arrivals.

First, there’s the defense. Despite the additions of Emiliano Insua and Danilo Acosta, the defensive unit is still an issue. Good defenders are very hard to find, and smart clubs are even more reluctant to let them go. Also, Jorgen Skjelvik is still on the roster…

Insua, 31, is nearing the end of a career he has spent mostly across Europe and he might not be able to keep up with speedy MLS forwards. At only 22, Acosta has yet to make a significant impact in MLS and was declined by both Orlando City and Real Salt Lake. Despite a wealth of experience, it is unclear what an aging Sacha Kljestan,34, has to offer in his SoCal homecoming, as he saw his role with Orlando City decrease throughout 2019.

Even before Chicharito’s name began to be whispered, Aleksandar Katai was the most significant signing for 2020 and will effectively replace the departing Romain Alessandrini, who was hampered by significant injuries during the last two seasons. Katai made a splash in 2018, contributing 12 goals and 5 assists for the woebegone Chicago Fire. He dealt with some nagging injuries in 2019 and his production dropped.

Nevertheless, he offers versatility and is constantly hounding after the ball and will be important in maintaining the ball in the attacking half, which keeps pressure off the defense.

Of course, the roster is still coming together before the season opener in Fort Lauderdale, and Dennis te Kloese can still make some additions to add more depth to the squad and maybe even the defense.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the MLS season is a marathon and teams are rarely the same from beginning to end. Just look at the Galaxy roster at the beginning of 2019 and compare it to the lineup in October.

Invariably, despite all the head-scratching, opinions floating around the internet, talking heads on TV and the radio, it all boils down to how Chicharito can fit into the squad. You can’t blame Galaxy fans for having their doubts. No one wants a repeat of Giovanni dos Santos, who while not as popular as Chicharito, came in with great expectations and eventually left through the backdoor.

Nobody is saying Chicharito will be another Steven Gerrard—who just went through the motions—but if he brings anything close to what Robbie Keane had to offer, we might just be adjusting our expectations as the season progresses. After two seasons of having the attack funneled through Zlatan Ibrahimovic, we will get an opportunity to see what Cristian Pavon, Jona dos Santos, and Sebastian Lleget can do in a more fluid attacking scheme.

For now, be glad Chicharito is in town and that LAFC fans that made blood pacts with Will Ferrell are now peeking over the fence in this direction and foaming at the mouth. Unlike a four-pointer in the middle of the night, they can’t just roll over and ignore that there’s been another tectonic shift across the Los Angeles Galaxy.

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