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Ramos, Reyna ... next Hernandez?
by Paul Kennedy, March 7th, 2012 1:08AM

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TAGS:  development academy, philadelphia union


[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...] New Jersey's St. Benedict's Prep has produced two of the great names of American soccer in Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna and a host of other future pros, including U.S. World Cup player Gregg Berhalter. The next Gray Bee to make it big could be Mexican-born midfielder Cristhian Hernandez, who signed with the Philadelphia Union. For four things to know about Hernandez ...

PREP JUGGERNAUT. Hernandez helped St. Benedict's win a 23rd New Jersey prep title and finish No. 1 in the ESPN/Rise fall rankings. He led the 24-0-0 Gray Bees with 32 assists and was third in goals behind Maryland-bound Christiano Francois (43) and Pablo Perez (23).

DA STAR. Hernandez was named the 2011 Development Academy U-17/18 Player of the Year at PDA. He scored 17 goals in 30 appearances and helped PDA to a 7-2-1 divisional record, which was enough to seal the top place in the Liberty Division and the No. 6 seed overall in playoffs.

EARLY LOOK. The Union has an academy program -- though not currently entered in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy -- and has affiliate agreements with area clubs such as PDA and FC Delco, which produced two other homegrown signings, Zach Pfeffer and Jimmy McLaughlin. Hernandez was given a look-see last summer and scored the winning goal in the Union's 1-0 friendly win over Everton.

EX-GALAXY PLAYER. Hernandez was born in Guadalajara and lived in California, where he played for the Los Angeles Galaxy's U-15/16 academy team in 2008-09. He moved to Newark to attend at St. Benedict's for his junior year of high school and play for PDA.



8 comments
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.
    Seriously,this is what we should be proud of? At least Tab and Claudio were recruited from in New Jersey.PDA and St Benedict's want to take credit for this? "EX-GALAXY PLAYER. Hernandez was born in Guadalajara and lived in California, where he played for the Los Angeles Galaxy's U-15/16 academy team in 2008-09. He moved to Newark to attend at St. Benedict's for his junior year of high school and play for PDA" Sad sad sad.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
    Indeed, the LA Galaxy has a sordid and sorry tendency and history of overlooking local talent from all walks of local soccer life. One must ask, however, just how was it or what enticed Hernandez to go cross country from Los Angeles to the East coast? Was he recruited to go to that prep school? What's the tuition at St. Benedicts? While I am very glad and PROUD of and for him that he was "spotted" then played for the LAG albeit for one year, and is now with the Philadelphia Union it is and would be interesting to know....

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.
    Amici sportivi...the system works to identify talent, but it fails to complete the development of talent.

  1. Ron J
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 10 p.m.
    Hey Walt, Before casting stones, maybe if you knew a little bit about Hernandez' background and the trouble he found in LA, you'd be proud of the fact that he found his way to Newark and, because of their stringent rules, righted his ship and now has a great career ahead of himm.. If saving lives is a bad thing, than keep ridiculing SBP

  1. Mr. G utierrez
    commented on: March 9, 2012 at 12:40 a.m.
    A Little about Hernandez, an amazing story it is, every team he has played for since he was 8 years old, he has helped make a champion or a monster team, LA did miss out, many talented young player in SOCAL never get a chance. Cris loves Philly, he loves it so much he would have not played anywhere else, and he could have. SBP helped him find his way academical and spiritually and like I told him when he left to the east coast, "This is where God is leading you to shine" and look at him now. Very grateful to all SBP staff and persons that have looked over Cris in the last 2 years. Keep your eye out for him, he WILL do amazing things, its his destiny, trust me at the age of 6 he scored 91 goals in a pewee league. By the way, I am in LA

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 9, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.
    Ron and Mr G,if this was a good move to help this kid and give him a new lease on life,I am all for it.Good job then to who ever set it up.I don't know his story, sorry. My point was,the move across country to play and attend HS and then also play for Academy team PDA; was it for him or for SBP and PDA?

  1. Mr. G utierrez
    commented on: March 9, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.
    Walt I am posting a reply only so for informative purposes. The move was for him, SBP is truly about helping kids succeed in all aspects of life, and as for PDA, it did not matter were he played at the time, it was convenient for his situation to play in PDA, and as it turned out, this was the best decision made because PDA has taken care of him from the beginning. Thanks to PDA he continued to develop as a player. Cris is kid with great parents in Mexico. He will make Philly proud, he has done that foe every team he has ever played, if you don't believe me ask Galaxy, that when asked for help, did not.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 9, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
    I stand corrected then. Forget the soccer part,if it helps a young man become a great and solid adult, I salute St Benedict and PDA.


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