Toronto FC defender Jason Hernandez has announced his retirement after a 14-year career in Major League Soccer. Hernandez will now move into the front office as Toronto FC’s first Manager, Player Engagement.
“I want to thank all the players, staff, and supporters here at Toronto FC for making my time at the club an incredibly memorable one. I consider myself very fortunate to be involved with an organization that is pushing the standard for a top-class product on and off the field. I am excited to continue in the pursuit of trophies, no longer as a player, but as a member of the front office team. I want to thank Bill, Ali, and Greg for the opportunity to continue working with Toronto FC under their leadership and I look forward to contributing to the club in every way possible,” said Jason Hernandez. “It is bittersweet to say goodbye to the game I love after 14 seasons. I am humbled to have represented some great clubs in this league and will cherish the memories created at each one. I want to thank my wife, family, and friends for all their support and sacrifice over the course of my career. I am honoured to have played my part in helping to push the league forward and am thankful for all MLS has done for me. As someone who was not a highly touted prospect as a youth, I hope my path can serve as an example to the next generation of players that if you combine your belief and a lot of hard work, with a little luck, you can realize your professional dream as well.”
In his new role, Hernandez will be responsible for the creation and launch of an alumni program with past players and re-integrating them into Toronto FC. In addition, he will be responsible for deeper integration between the first team, Toronto FC II and the Toronto FC Academy through a mentoring program, while assisting with other front office duties.
“Jason is a smart and hardworking individual, and we are excited to add him to the staff,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “Obviously, he brings a wealth of experience to the club, and we think he can help create programming for players from our academy through the first team. Also, Jason can play an integral role in helping to better connect former TFC players to the club.”
Hernandez, 35, joined Toronto FC for the 2017 season and was part of the club’s Treble-winning campaign. Hernandez was also part of TFC’s Canadian Championship winning side in 2018. In 14 seasons, Hernandez made over 300 professional appearances playing for five clubs (MetroStars, Chivas USA, San Jose Earthquakes, New York City FC and finally Toronto FC), winning one MLS Cup, two Supporters’ Shields and two Canadian Championships. Hernandez spent the majority of his career with San Jose, highlighted by winning the 2012 MLS Supporters Shield alongside current Toronto FC player Justin Morrow. Hernandez was selected in the first round (6th overall) in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft by the MetroStars. At the conclusion of his rookie season, he was traded to Chivas USA where he played for two seasons. Hernandez was selected by San Jose in the 2007 MLS Expansion Draft. He would leave the Earthquakes eight seasons later via the same method he was acquired as NYCFC selected him in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft.
Hernandez earned three caps with the Puerto Rican national team during his career. He was eligible to play for Puerto Rico through his parents who were born there. He made his debut on March 30, 2016 in a Caribbean Cup qualification match against Guyana.