According to a report in the Toronto Sun this morning, Toronto FC are about to officially re-sign veteran centre-back Jason Hernandez. The 34-year-old Puerto Rico international has apparently joined the team in Mexico as they prepare for Tuesday’s Concacaf Champions League clash with Club América.
The Reds signed Hernandez as a free agent last March, in the midst of concerns over their centre-back depth — at the time, Drew Moor was out with illness and Chris Mavinga was still an unknown quantity. He appeared in eight games for TFC, in which the Reds posted a 7–0–1 record.
Hernandez started, memorably, as part of a heavily-rotated lineup when TFC won a hard-fought game 1-0 in Seattle. He was generally pretty sound defensively in all his appearances, filling in as a backup admirably.
A 13-year veteran of MLS, Hernandez has a lot of experience in the league dating back to 2005. He spent seven years with the San Jose Earthquakes, helping them to the 2012 Supporters’ Shield. He also played a couple seasons with New York City FC after being taken in their expansion draft.
With Nick Hagglund expected to miss about six weeks with his hamstring injury, and Chris Mavinga’s status unknown heading into this week, it’s not surprising the Reds are looking to beef up their depth in the middle of defence.
According to the Sun though, this isn’t just a patchwork signing. Greg Vanney was quoted as saying that the club hopes to keep Hernandez around after he retires, praising the defender’s leadership. If it happens, Hernandez would be the next in a long line of former TFC players who have joined the club in a coaching capacity after their playing days (think Benoit Cheyrou, Danny Dichio, or Terry Dunfield).