For two brothers to stand side by side – not only in life but also on a soccer field – demonstrates the swag the Hernandez brothers possess, according to coach Ian Hill of Western Nevada Futbol Club.
“The testament of the two of them shows determination to succeed,” he said. “We have competitive players on the team and succeed but as for these two, their demeanor shows they want to win.”
Cristian and Guillermo Hernandez of Carson City both signed professional contracts with United Premier Soccer League, when Western Nevada launched in January.
Since then, the team grew in players from five to 27, enticing athletes from Carson City and other states, and even from Australia.
Cristian, No. 7, midfield-right back, is no stranger to UPSL. After he graduated from Carson High School in 2013, he played on the Fort Worth Vaqueros FC team in Texas, also at midfield.
However, Guillermo — No. 19, center midfield — just began his career in the professional development league. He’s graduating CHS this spring with a scholarship to Utah State University Eastern.
When the brothers attended high school at the same time, both played midfield on the CHS Senators soccer team.
“I didn’t think I would have another chance to play with my brother on a field again,” Cristian said.
“Sometimes we argue,” Guillermo laughs.
“And sometimes, he calms me down,” Cristian said.
For both, it’s a surreal feeling to play on a team who’s conquered three games in the western region since its debut.
In March, the team defeated Magic Valley FC of Twin Falls, Idaho, 1-0 and tied in a game with Real San Jose FC 2-2. Last weekend, Oakland’s FC team — CD Aguiluchos USA 23 — lost to Western Nevada 3-2 when Cristian scored the game-winning goal.
“The whole team’s goal is to bring leadership to one another,” Cristian said. “It’s about helping each other achieve our goals.”
Part of those goals involve training first-time league players, such as Guillermo.
“It’s easier to learn from experienced players, like my brother,” he said. “I feel like it’s easier for others, too.”
The influence behind the Hernandez passion comes from their father, Guillermo Hernandez, Sr., who also played midfield in futbol leagues in Mexico.
Cristian said he noticed a significant difference between Western Nevada and Fort Worth Vaqueros FC teams.
“Compared to other teams I’ve played on, we’re more like a family,” he said.
To be in further touch with the community, the Hernandez brothers incorporate their athletic careers with education; they spoke to classes at Dayton Elementary School about the league.
Starting April 9, the team will partner with Apartment Genie rental agency and participate in outreach programs serving families in need across Northern Nevada.
Although Hill witnessed a few natural quarrels between the siblings on the field, both brothers expressed excitement when they recognize familiar faces from high school in the stands, as they were always known as the Hernandez Brothers throughout their four years.
And although the honor from former classmates live on, the glory is just beginning for the brothers, Hill said.
“They are the two best soccer players at their age and level that came straight out of high school,” he said.
“I believe these two young men are the youngest and best performers in the history of Carson High School.
“As an expansion team, the quality of the team’s performance is a testament.”
The next game is 7 p.m. today at Dayton High School, against California Victory FC of Petaluma, Calif.
To learn more about players and to view the season schedule, visit westernnevadafc.com.