CARSON, Calif. — Javier “Chicharito” Hernández continued his early season rampage with his Major League Soccer-leading seventh goal, leading the LA Galaxy to a 2-0 victory over expansion Austin FC on Saturday.
Sebastian Lletget also scored in the first half for the Galaxy, who are off to a 4-1-0 start under new coach Greg Vanney. Chicharito has scored in each of their four victories, and he slid between two Austin defenders to knock home a superb pass from Julian Araujo at close range in the 77th minute.
Chicharito also had a penalty saved by Austin’s Brad Stuver in the first half of the first meeting between MLS’ newest team and the league’s record five-time champions. The Galaxy improved to 7-0-1 in Carson against expansion teams in their debut seasons since 2009.
New goalkeeper Jonathan Bond posted his first shutout for the Galaxy, while Austin was shut out in the Los Angeles area for the second time already. LAFC blanked Austin 2-0 in the franchise’s inaugural game last month.
French forward Kévin Cabral made his Galaxy debut in the second half and appeared to score in the 85th minute, but he was ruled offside. The Galaxy signed the 21-year-old Cabral from Valenciennes in April as their third designated player.
Chicharito drew a penalty in the 26th minute when Jhohan Romana took him down in the box after a long run, but his fairly well-placed kick was saved by a diving Stuver to keep it scoreless.
The Galaxy showed superior creativity and aggression throughout the half, and they finally broke through in the 35th minute when Lletget ran onto a long pass from Daniel Steres at the same time Austin defender Héctor Jiménez fell down with an apparently serious leg injury. Lletget beat Stuver for his first goal of the season.
Jiménez, a native of the Los Angeles suburbs who played three seasons for the Galaxy from 2011-13, left the field on a stretcher.