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Moises Hernandez savors first FC Dallas start in central defense

FRISCO, Texas -- It’s taken 1,316 days for Moises Hernandez to make his first MLS start with FC Dallas since signing his initial Homegrown contract with the club on July 30, 2010.

And it was worth every minute.

Hernandez played all 90 minutes for FC Dallas in the 3-2 season-opening win over Montreal on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium. For the Dallas native, it’s the realization of a dream nearly ten years in the making.

“I’m very happy that I got the opportunity to play today. I’m thankful firstly that we got the win. I thought we played well together,” Hernandez said after the game. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play here in Dallas. I remember the first game here in the stadium [in 2005] and ever since that day I came with my dad and I think Carlos Ruiz scored for FCD. Ever since then, I fell in love with FC Dallas and it’s a dream come true that I’m here.”

Hernandez was one of two Homegrowns to start on the back line for FCD in the win that saw four Homegrown players in the matchday 18, a point not lost on Moises.

“I think it just shows that the Academy is working,” said Hernandez. “We have a really good system in the Academy and I’m just happy it shows the Academy does work and it’s good here in Dallas.”

Things wobbled a little bit for the defense when Dallas, who looked to be cruising to a win, allowed a 65th-minute goal to Andrew Wenger, setting up a nail-biting finish. Hernandez and Matt Hedges held strong in central defense, however, locking down the vital three points on opening night.

“Those plays are tough, but we have to stay focused as a group,” said Hernandez. “We all spoke after the goal and knew that there’s not a lot of time left, so we had to stay focused and together and we’re just happy we didn’t allow another goal and got the win.”