3. Debut for Hernandez
Although Bello’s first start dominated the conversation on Saturday night, another youngster made some history. Jose Hernandez made his first appearance with Atlanta’s first team on Saturday night, subbing on for Bello in the 74th minute.
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Hernandez signed with Atlanta during the offseason, transferring from Caracas FC in Venezuela. Hernandez dealt with injuries during the preseason, so he never broke through into the first team. He found meaningful minutes with Atlanta’s USL side, Atlanta United 2. Because of the rotated squad on Saturday night, Hernandez made it onto the pitch.
He only logged 17 minutes in relief of Bello, but they were a strong 17 minutes. Hernandez completed all five of his passes, including a key pass in the 77th minute that almost led to a goal. Hernandez also won a tackle in the 93rd minute as the game was in its final minutes.
With such a strong performance on Saturday night, Hernandez will be a key player to watch going forward, along with Bello. Because of Atlanta’s injuries, namely to Greg Garza, Mikey Ambrose, and Sal Zizzo, their full-back depth is somewhat shallow. Bello and Hernandez, despite their age, are the current remedy to those depth problems.