Moises Hernandez is back with FC Dallas after his offseason loan to Costa Rican powerhouse Saprissa, and midway through the preseason, the Homegrown player is already making his case to be in the team’s plans for 2014.
But it may not be in his natural position of left back.
Hernandez has started multiple games and scrimmages during the preseason at center back due to the unavailability at various times of regular central defenders George John, Walker Zimmerman and Stephen Keel due to injury. But he has nonetheless performed well in the role and has caught the eye of head coach Oscar Pareja.
“He’s adapting to that position due to the injured players we have from the offseason, some players that came and still have nagging some injuries that we have not been able to play them in the team,” Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday by phone. “We chose to give Moises … a chance to show what he can provide to the team. It has been good. Moises, he has a legitimate chance [at center back], yes.”
Hernandez played both center back and left back for Saprissa and said he feels comfortable in either position. He credits his experience playing with the Purple Monster with helping grow his game.
“Over there in Costa Rica, it’s a really good level,” Hernandez told MLSsoccer.com earlier in camp. “The difference is there it is more technical, and [in MLS] it is more physical. I feel like [I learned] a lot of good things, but the main ones are playing under pressure and in front of a lot of fans. I think that helped me a lot.”
While he appreciated his time in Central America, Hernandez wants to be wearing FCD’s colors this season and does not anticipate going back on loan to Saprissa or any other club this season, saying that, “The plan is to fight for a spot, for a starting spot [with FC Dallas].”
- Get the latest FCD news at FCDallas.com
FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo singled out Hernandez as being the most impressive player so far in preseason and doesn’t sound like he’s in any rush to loan him out again.
“Moises Hernandez is a kid that we nursed a lot with chances going to Guatemala and Costa Rica,” Clavijo said recently from Abu Dhabi. “He’s a different player, I think, that has something to offer. And hopefully … the effort he put into going abroad pays off for him.”