Philadelphia Union Sign Cristhian Hernandez
Philadelphia Union today announced the signing of Cristhian Hernandez as the club’s third Homegrown Player. A member of the Union Academy, the 18-year old Hernandez has made appearances in Reserve League matches, as well as a first-team friendly against Everton, in which he scored the game-winner in a 1-0 win on July 21, 2011. Born in Mexico, Hernandez will occupy an international roster spot and is eligible to play in the Union’s season opener against the Portland Timbers on March 12. Per MLS and Club policy, terms of the agreement will not be disclosed.
The 2011 US Soccer U-17/U-18 Development Academy Player of the Year, Hernandez netted 16 goals in 26 appearances for his club team, Players Development Academy (PDA), a Youth Development Affiliate of the Union. In helping PDA to a 7-2-1 divisional record and the top spot in the Liberty Division, Hernandez also earned U-17/U-18 Development Academy Starting XI and Eastern Conference Starting XI honors.
Hernandez attended St. Benedict’s Prep, where he helped lead the squad to a 24-0 record, a number one ranking and the school’s seventh national championship in 2011. Named to the NJ Star Ledger’s All-Prep First Team, Hernandez was also honored as an ESPN High School All-New Jersey State selection as well as one of ESPN’s Top 10 soccer recruits in the country.
Following the "Path to PPL Park" model created by the Union and YSC Sports, Hernandez is the third Home Grown Player to come out of the Union Academy after Jimmy McLaughlin, who signed on December 12, 2011, and Zach Pfeffer, who signed on December 22, 2010.
The Union begin the 2012 MLS regular season in Portland on March 12 before heading home to re-open PPL Park on March 18 against the Colorado Rapids.