Revs add Hernandez to midfield
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Revolution on Friday announced they have acquired former midfielder Daniel Hernandez from Necaxa of Mexico's Primera Division.
"I'm happy to be back," said Hernandez.
The defensive midfielder signed an initial 1 1/2-year contract, covering the remainder of the 2005 season and the 2006 season. Options are included to extend the contract another two years.
Hernandez left New England in early 2003 after raising concerns about the team's style of play in the local media. He played 28 times for the Revolution, including 20 starts and an appearance in MLS Cup 2002 during his first stint with the team.
Despite the appearance of acrimony, the relationship was ended on amicable terms upon the initial departure, allowing for a somewhat improbable return to the Revs this season.
"We've been trying to get players," said Revolution head coach Steve Nicol. "Danny became available. He's a great player. He likes to possess the ball. He fits in perfectly."
Former Revolution head coach Fernando Clavijo was chasing Hernandez for the Colorado Rapids, but the Revolution held first rights on his signature.
"In the beginning, I thought I was going to Colorado," said Hernandez. "New England held first rights, but I didn't know if they would want me back or not. I'm happy they did."
Nicol denied any rumors that this was a sign and trade deal with the Rapids.
"He's here to stay," said Nicol.
Hernandez primarily featured in defensive midfield for Necaxa, although he played sweeper for the club in his first season. The MLS veteran played 50 matches for the Mexican outfit, including 39 starts.
"He's very versatile," said Nicol. "We can play him anywhere up through the center of the park."
The signing creates congestion in central midfield for the Revolution. Clint Dempsey and Shalrie Joseph are sure starters, leaving Hernandez to fight with Jose Cancela and Andy Dorman for minutes in the central hub of Nicol's 3-5-2 formation.
Hernandez practiced with the team on Friday morning. He is not eligible for duty until Aug. 15 because of FIFA transfer regulations. Hernandez's first match with the side would be Aug. 17 in Colorado.
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.