August 28, 2014
By Steve Hunt
SMOOTHING THINGS OVER
Pareja, Hernandez clear the air about foot injury
Dallas Soccer News Contributor
FRISCO, Texas---On Wednesday August 6, Moises Hernandez was walking around his backyard barefoot when he stepped on something, possibly a piece of glass, resulting in a cut that needed both a tetanus shot and about four stitches.
Prior to his injury, Hernandez, 22, who is in his first year back with FC Dallas after spending most of the past two seasons on loan in Central America, had appeared in 10 games at left back, eight of which were starts.
However, when Hernandez was not among the 18-man game roster for FCD’s game with the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 9, the story about his injury got out and first-year Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja, whose team beat Colorado 3-1, was less than pleased about how “Mo” got hurt.
In fact, Pareja made those feelings quite apparent when asked about his young defender’s injury during his postgame press conference.
“He’s young. That’s what I’ve got to tell you. I back him up, but those things can’t happen in a professional matter for sure and he knows that. He knows better,” Pareja said.
Hernandez has now missed three straight games but has been in full training with the team for over a week and could return to the first 11 on Saturday night at Chicago.
On Sunday, he started at left back and played a full 90 minutes for the FCD Reserves in a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL Pro in the Steel City.
“I feel good,” Hernandez said after training on Thursday. “Last week, I played in the reserve game. My foot isn’t bothering me much. Hopefully I can be on the roster for the game.”
And for the first time, he told the story of how he injured his foot nearly three weeks ago.
“Yeah, I was at my house with my family. I had no shoes on and unfortunately, I stepped on a piece of glass or something. It was an accident that happened. It’s just unfortunate what happened. It was a time when we had a lot of games. I’m over it now, so I can look forward to the rest of the season,” Hernandez said.
Looking back, Pareja admits that the entire situation really upset him, feelings which appear to be more related to disappointment than anything else because Hernandez’s injury occurred at a time when FCD was in a run of three games at eight days and losing his starting left back put Pareja and the club in a bit of a pickle.
However, Pareja, who also coached Hernandez with the FCD Academy before becoming Colorado’s head coach in 2012, says that everything has been smoothed over and the situation is now fully resolved.
“It has (subsided). It upset me. Yeah, big time. I have to say that and he knows. We are fighting here for big goals and if you tell me that a player is hurt because he is tackling someone or he was running hard and maybe he was overtraining, undertraining, whatever that’s part of the game for me,” Pareja said. “But when you tell me a player got hurt or can’t play because of another reason, or in this case, for something that happened in the park, I can’t accept it and he understands it. He’s young and he knows there’s a lesson. Now we can work back together. We’re back in touch and we’re getting back into things. He learned his lesson.”
While his response to Hernandez’s injury was, to say the least, extreme, Pareja still feels his reaction was justified, because Hernandez simply should have been more careful with the tools of his trade.
“Yeah, that can happen but I never saw a surgeon who’s playing with his fingers somewhere else. He’s taking care of that or a violinist, he knows his job is to take care of his hands and I doubt he would be fooling around with his hands,” Pareja said. “Because at the end of the day, when you need that surgeon and the surgeon has his thumb not working, then you hire another surgeon, right?”
But it was refreshing to hear Hernandez see the situation for what it truly was, a fluke and just something weird or out of the ordinary that can sometimes happen.
“Yeah, it was one of those things that happens. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but everything happens for a reason. All I can do is learn from this and move forward,” he said.
Maybe Pareja’s reaction or overreaction depending on how one views this situation, was precipitated by the fact that FCD has dealt with injuries for much of the season and that this one came at the most inopportune of times, something which Hernandez acknowledges. But his reaction to this whole issue, especially in how public he’s been in expressing his dismay, has been a bit surprising.
Hernandez wouldn’t say if he thinks Pareja overreacted or not about his injury, but he did admit the timing of the whole thing was far from ideal.
“It did happen at a bad time. We had an Open Cup game and three games in I don’t know how many days, so it was a bad time,” Hernandez said. “I spoke to Oscar and I have learned from this. He and I are fine now.”