We caught up with defender Jason Hernandez on his big events during the World Cup break, what it feels to be back after injury, and, of course, why he's looking forward to the 2014 California Clasico at Stanford when the Quakes face off against the Galaxy on June 28.
SJEarthquakes.com: How was your break? I heard you tied the knot!
Jason Hernandez: I did. I was fortunate enough to get married; it was on Father’s Day, so it was a double special day for me. It was very cool and I’m very happy.
SJEQ: What’s been your take on the World Cup so far?
JH: It’s been great so far. It’s been really cool to see the buzz from not just all of us in the soccer world, but from the average citizen who’s taking interest. I think the game has progressed so much that it’s just a lot of fun to watch and be a part of it.
SJEQ: Both Spain and England are already knocked out of the tournament. What’s your take on those two teams being bounced so early on?
JH: It’s crazy because in the World Cup, anything can happen. I think with teams like Spain and England, they always have targets on their backs, so they’re always getting the best of the best from everyone. That can be difficult sometimes. It’s definitely tough to get to the top, but it is even tougher to stay up there.
SJEQ: Time to put on your analyst hat. Give us your preview on the United States matchup against Portugal this Sunday.
JH:I think the United States’ style of play and the M.O. of our team has been to be difficult to break down and leave it all on the line. Our team obviously showed that in the first match and hopefully they have the same spirit and mentality going into the second match. Like we’ve seen in the World Cup so far, anything can happen. They are just 11 men on the other side; they’re not superheroes. I hope the U.S. takes it to them and puts on a good performance.
SJEQ: The California Clasico is just around the corner. Being a part of the event for the last three years, what goes into your preparation for the annual match at Stanford Stadium?
JH: For me personally, it’s about staying sharp in training. Anytime you get the chance to play LA, they’re at top form and they have really great, dynamic players, so those games have always been a lot of fun. They are very unpredictable, so it gets to be one of those games where the game plan sometimes gets thrown out of the window and it just becomes a battle. We are all looking forward to it.
SJEQ: You’re one game away from your 200th appearance in MLS. What does it mean to have this moment at this time of your life?
JH: The past six weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I know I was getting close to my 200th appearance, but I didn’t know specifically. It’s really special for me to be doing it wearing a Quakes’ uniform. This is my seventh year here and I feel really privileged to play for this organization. If I get the call in the Stanford match or whenever it comes, I’ll be happy my 200th game will be with the Quakes.