FC Dallas midfielder and captain Daniel Hernandez is leader on the field, and now he’ll be a leader on the sideline, too.
On Wednesday, the club announced they had signed Hernandez, 34, to a three-year contract as a player-coach. The new deal will see the 13-year veteran suit up as a player for at least one more season before joining head coach Schellas Hyndman on the bench.
“Daniel has been such a great leader for us in the locker room and on the field,” Hyndman said in a statement. “I’m very excited to have him back. He’s an integral part of our team. I had the pleasure of coaching him in college at SMU and I’m honored to be a part of this next transition for him and hope to pass along as much coaching knowledge as I can in the next three years. I’m sure he will excel.”
Hernandez joined FC Dallas in 2009 after a two-year run in the Mexican Primera División. Prior to that, the Tyler, Texas, native had played for MLS sides LA Galaxy, Tampa Bay Mutiny, MetroStars, New England Revolution (twice), and Mexican club Necaxa.
Hernandez has played a total of 61 games in an FCD kit. He earned the captain’s armband shortly after arriving in Dallas in late 2009 and has donned it his last 54 games.
The midfielder has dealt with some knee issues over the last two seasons, including undergoing offseason surgery before the 2011 campaign. However, his leadership, ability to jam the midfield defensively and distribute accurately from deep-lying positions have been an invaluable asset for the team, which he helped reach the MLS Cup final in 2010.