FRISCO – Moises Hernandez was back on the training pitch at FC Dallas Stadium for the first time in nearly four months this week after being loaned to Guatemalan first division side Comunicaciones in June.
Hernandez wasn’t there to train though, as the young defender was happy to just observe the session during his three-day visit to North Texas during the FIFA international break. It was a good time for him to pay the team a visit, as Hernandez finally made his long-anticipated debut for Comunicaiones in the club’s last match before the two-week break.
“I was happy to finally make my debut in a professional league,” Hernandez said during his visit to Frisco. “It took about three months to get my paperwork sorted out and that kept me from playing the first half of the season.”
Hernandez was finally granted the Guatemalan citizenship required to play professionally in the country in mid-September and made his first appearance for los Cremas on October 6. With the team holding a 2-0 lead over Marquense, Hernandez was subbed in at left back in the 76th minute to complete the shutout.
Hernandez said that his experiences in Guatemala were beneficial before he even played a minute on the field. The process of working with new teammates and new coaches in a new system in a new league in a new country has helped the former U.S. U-20 defender grow as both a player and a person.
“I feel like I’ve matured a lot more since I went [to Guatemala],” Hernandez said. “[In Dallas] I’m comfortable because I’ve got all my friends here. Going to where I don’t know anybody in a different country with a different language was tough but I feel like I’ve done well.”
Aiding Hernandez in his transition has been his past experiences in the Central American country thanks to both soccer and his personal life. He had played in Guatemala as a member of the U.S. U-20s in Spring of 2011 during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Hernandez also has a genealogical connection to the country as his father is originally from Guatemala City – the hometown of Comunicaciones – and the Texas native had previously been on several personal trips to visit family members who still live there.
“My grandma lives about 30 minutes from me and my dad’s uncles live nearby,” said Hernandez. “It helps [to be near family]. I go to my grandma’s house every Sunday. She makes me lunch every Sunday when I go over, so it’s helped because it keeps me from just staying in my apartment all day.”
Although he’s now back in Guatemala, Hernandez likely won’t be going to his grandmother’s this Sunday as Comunicaciones will be back in action on Oct. 21 for a road match against fifth place side Halcones.
The FC Dallas Homegrown said he’s looking forward to continuing to contribute for the first-place team through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.
“We have seven games left until playoffs start,” said Hernandez. “We’re in first place, up by six points on the second place team, so the team’s doing well. We’ve got a lot of good players from the national team and we’ve only lost one game this season, so we should be able to finish strong.”