FRISCO, Texas – Daniel Hernandez has been here before. Three times, to be exact.
The FC Dallas captain started in MLS Cup on three occasions during his run in New England, appearing in the 2002, 2005 and 2006. The Revs, of course, lost in each appearance and are still one of just four MLS original franchises to never win an MLS Cup.
FC Dallas are also in that group and are finally making their MLS Cup debut. So forgive Hernandez if we wants a different outcome against the Colorado Rapids at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday (8:30 pm ET; ESPN, Galavisión).
“I just got through telling the guys after practice, you’re fortunate to be able to play in one championship,” Hernandez said Wednesday. “I was able to play in three and at the end of the day I didn’t win any of them. Since my last one, I’ve said to myself if only I could get one more chance. I want to win that championship.”
And he definitely doesn’t want to taste defeat yet again so close to experiencing championship glory.
“Right now everybody is excited, but if you don’t win and aren’t able to lift that trophy to end the season … it’s a missed opportunity and you never know when you’re going to get it again," he said. "That’s how I felt."
Fellow midfielder Dax McCarty, who has been with the club since 2006 and is FCD’s second longest-tenured player, wants not just to win the crown for Hernandez but for the rest of the club’s veterans.
“You want to win it for Daniel just as bad as you want to win it for Jeff Cunningham, who’s never been to a final and just as bad as you want to win it for Dario Sala, the older guys who have been around this league for a while and maybe haven’t experienced as much success as they deserve or want to,” McCarty said. “You want to win it to culminate a fantastic season.”
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