Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sangre americana preview: Hernandez

Daniel Hernandez was a bad boy. It wasn't his play - which actually was pretty solid a year ago. It was his temperament that led to his downfall. That and his teammates' inability to keep their tempers in check.

After a brawl broke out in the Jaguares-Cruz Azul playoff match a year ago, Hernandez and several of his teammates were slapped with suspensions to start the Apertura 2008 season. Consequently, Hernandez will be out of action for a pair of weeks.

It should not be a disaster, though, as Hernandez wasn't exactly a starter at the beginning of last year.

Hernandez, 32, did not play at all the first five games of last season. He only got the opportunity to play regularly when the club made a coaching change. When Sergio Almaguer took over, Hernandez's playing time increased as he quickly became a fixture in central defense. Hernandez helped turn Jaguares' season around as the club reached the playoffs. The Tyler, Texas, native ended up going the distance in 11 matches and played in 13 overall last season.

Jaguares is not one of the favorites to contend for the Mexican league title but a playoff spot is within reach. Hernandez will need to continue his solid play on the backline for that to happen but should get the opportunity to do so once his ban is lifted.

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