Catch up with Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez – he’s the only Earthquake to have been with the club since we moved to Buck Shaw Stadium in 2008. Ahead of saying bye to the Buck, Hernandez talks about what he’s going to miss most, memories at Buck Shaw and his excitement for the club to finally have a home of their own.
How does it feel to be the only player who has been with the club since we moved to Buck Shaw in 2008?
It’s a great feeling with a club that has a history that the San Jose Earthquakes has for this long. I feel very privileged. It’s definitely had its ups and downs but it’s been a lot of great memories and a lot of memorable games at Buck Shaw.
What is your favorite part of Buck Shaw?
My favorite part of Buck Shaw is the proximity of the fans to the field. I think the intimate environment we’ve created here really allows the fans to be a part of the game and helps us when we are at home.
What will you miss most about this stadium?
I think, for myself, being in an Earthquakes uniform - it’s the only home I’ve known. I’ve had some pretty memorable nights on that field. I’ll miss the memories the most.
What is your favorite memory at Buck Shaw?
In 2012, at the end of the season when we secured the Supporters’ Shield trophy. We all came back to the locker room and we were all able to celebrate. It was our first trophy in quite a while so we were very excited that night.
What is something about Buck Shaw that fans don’t know about?
[Laughs] I think the fans don’t know about the entire facility. We spend a lot quality time with the other athletes at the school. Whether it’s the basketball teams or the soccer teams sharing facilities, it can be an interesting dynamic and fun.
Is it emotional for you to be leaving Buck Shaw after seven seasons?
Yeah absolutely - for me personally, it’s the only place I’ve known for the last seven seasons. I’ve had a lot of cool memories on that field and I’ll be sad to see it go but I’m excited for the new stadium ahead.
What are you looking forward to with the new stadium?
First and foremost, a place that we can call our own and to know that we are going to have a home for years to come – a place that soccer fans in the area can be excited about. Whether it’s Earthquakes games or exhibition games, we can have a hub to really develop the game more in this area.
What transitions will you have to make from moving from Buck Shaw to the new stadium?
Just cleaning out my locker [laughs]. Other than that, we train over there already so the transition should be pretty smooth. We are all very excited to get in the new digs and see what they’ve put in place for us.
What should fans expect out of the new stadium?
Our ownership and our Front Office have put a lot of time into making it a very fan-friendly stadium and making sure that our fans come first. It’s an experience they’re going to enjoy and want to come back week in and week out.
What does it mean for the club to have their very own stadium?
It means a great foundation and a great future for the club. It’s the first time a team in the Bay Area is going to have their own soccer specific stadium so it means great things for the future. The club and community should feel very proud.