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Hernandez Named Young Player of Year Finalist

Hernandez Named Young Player of Year Finalist

Laredo captain in running for PDL honor

LAREDO, TexasAs the Laredo Heat’s Yair Hernandez celebrates his 21st birthday on Thursday, he will still be contending for a national honor as one of the Premier Development League’s best under-20-years-old players. In a week that saw the impactful all-position dynamo honored with three separate awards at day’s end on Tuesday, the league announced Hernandez as one of three finalists for its Young Player of the Year honor on Wednesday.

On Monday, Hernandez earned recognition as an All-Southern Conference team member and on Tuesday the league named him a member of the All-PDL team. Also on Tuesday, at the Heat’s annual year-end banquet, Hernandez was awarded the Most Versatile Player honor.

Hernandez was officially honored as a defender for each of his recognitions, but that’s more formality than fact. He played every outfield position for the Heat through their Mid-South campaign, as well as their historic run into the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

He featured in all 14 of the Heat’s PDL regular season games, three Open Cup matches and the Southern Conference semifinal that ended Laredo’s season. The Heat fell to eventual conference champion Ocala Stampede, 5-3, in a penalty kick shootout on July 26 in Austin.

Hernandez played a team-high 1,203 minutes. He scored three goals on 11 shots and dealt an assist in PDL play. He captained five matches for the Heat, including the one postseason match against Ocala.

His three goals cemented him as the team’s third-highest scorer – tying with pure strikers Felix Garcia and Esteban Bayona, who both played 10 matches.

The Heat finished their 10th season in the PDL with a 7-4-3 record (24 points), qualifying for a 10th consecutive postseason – a PDL record.

The winner of the Young Player of the Year will be announced at Saturday’s Championship Luncheon, part of the 2014 PDL Championship in Pontiac, Mich. The 2014 PDL Awards were selected through a vote of team management.

Both semifinals and the championship game at the 2014 PDL Championship presented by Nike will be streamed live on the PDL’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/USLPDL), with live updates also available through the league’s official Twitter account (@USLPDL).

About the PDL

The top developmental men’s league in North America, the 2014 PDL featured 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.

 

For additional information on the tryouts, sponsorship opportunities, tickets, the Heat Club Card and the Laredo Heat Soccer Club, please contact the Heat Front Office at (956) 723 – 4700; visit our website at www.laredoheatsc.com , LIKE us on Facebook www.facebook.com/laredoheatsoccer or Follow Us on Twitter @LaredoHeatSC.