Van Oekel, 30, is coming off a season with FC Edmonton where he was named 2016 NASL Goalkeeper of the Year, setting league records in shutouts, with 16 and goals against average, with a remarkable 0.55 average. Prior to his stint with FC Edmonton, the Rutgers product played for Minnesota 2008-14, and helped Minnesota notch a U.S. Open Cup win over RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2012.
“I’ve always known RSL to be contenders, a fun team to watch and a club respected around the country for how they operate since coming into MLS,” said Van Oekel in a statement. “I had the fortune of playing alongside Luke Mulholland for a few months in Minnesota, and I’m incredibly excited to learn from a goalkeeping legend like Nick Rimando and also Kyle Beckerman, meet all my new teammates, and of course represent the RSL badge for the great fans in Utah.”
Hernandez, 20, joins RSL as a Homegrown Player. The RSL-Arizona academy alum most recently played two seasons at UCLA, where he was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2015 and earned 2016 Pac-12 Co-Player of the Year honors. The Mexico City native also made two appearances for RSL's USL team, Real Monarchs, in 2015.
“Obviously the path from the academy in Arizona was a big advantage for my career, and even though it’s a cliché, my dream has now become a reality,” said Hernandez, the seventh Homegrown Player on RSL’s 2017 roster. “It will be simply amazing to get back on the field with guys I’ve played with or guys I’ve looked up to, and of course to be reunited with all the Academy guys. It gives me confidence to see guys that have blazed the trail that I’m now on.”