Cristhian Hernandez Signed As Union's Third Ever Home Grown Player

CHESTER, PA - JULY 20: Forward Cristhian Hernandez #31 of the Philadelphia Union is congratulated by midfielder Roger Torres #8 after scoring a goal during a game against Everton at PPL Park on July 20, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union won 1-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Union continued their youth minded approach to player acquisitions today, officially signing academy star Cristhian Hernandez to a Home Grown Player contract. Details of the contract were not released to the public, per team and Major League Soccer (MLS) policies.

Hernandez will use up an international roster spot in 2012, as reported by the Brotherly Game last month. The midfielder is a Mexican citizen and spent time with the LA Galaxy and Mexican youth set ups before moving to Newark, NJ and playing for the Players Development Academy.

Named the 2011 United States Soccer Development Academy Play of the Year in the under-17/under-18 age group, Hernandez joins Zach Pfeffer, signed in December of 2010, and Jimmy McLaughlin, signed last December, as Home Grown Players on the Union.

During the fall, Hernandez told ESPN RISE's high school reporter Sheldon Shealer that he would pursue a professional career instead of college. Hernandez went on to be ranked high in ESPN RISE's top college recruiting prospects for the upcoming 2012 season.

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