Expansion 2020

Renegade GK NPSL Goalkeeper Feature: Bryan Hernandez Perfect Match for Spokane’s Vision

By Daniel Cermak/NPSL.com

Spokane Shadow SC goalkeeper Bryan Hernandez is the prototypical example of the kind of
player the Shadow want to develop, and Hernandez is embracing that position and enjoying his
time in the NPSL.

“I’ve actually enjoyed it there are a lot of good players around the league,” Hernandez said.
“Overall the quality has improved a lot since I’ve been here and I’m really enjoying the games.”

Hernandez joins the Shadow following an incredible college career at Humboldt State
University. Hernandez spent four years with the Jacks, and he really became a steady hand in
defense during his senior season, recording 97 saves in 13 appearances. 14 of Hernandez’s saves
against Cal Poly Pomona where Hernandez was peppered in goal but was able to keep his team
in it. His performance becomes more impressive considering the steep competition, with at least
one team from the conference reaching the final four in each of Hernandez’s seasons. Overall
the Los Angeles native enjoyed his college experience though it did take some getting used to.

“I’m from Los Angeles, where I went to school it was a really small town, so I thought it would
be a big change, and it was, but I enjoyed every day of my college experience,” Hernandez said.
“The competition was really competitive, there were always guys playing at the top level of club
soccer as well as high-level coaches.”

2019 marks Hernandez’s third season with Spokane. In 2017, his first season with the club,
Hernandez recorded a pair of shutouts and posted a 1.33 GAA. This is a record he improved
upon in his second season with the club in 2018, where Hernandez recorded 1.09 GAA, starting
11 of the team’s 13 matches. Overall, Hernandez has truly enjoyed his time in Spokane.

“It’s great, we have a good coaching staff, and the guys who we bring in are really good players
and really good buddies,” Hernandez said. “And that reflects how the club is because we have a
youth club and when the youth club players come out with us, they know we all get along and
that makes the club better.”

Hernandez has also made an impact on the entire club system, from the senior team all the way
through the youth ranks. And Hernandez’s off-the-field contributions, coupled with his on-the-
field talent, make the goalkeeper a major asset to the club.

“Bryan’s composure on the ball and range of passing have allowed us to remain faithful to club’s
philosophy of playing through pressure and valuing possession of the ball and represent this at
the highest level available with the Men’s First Team,” Spokane Shadow SC head coach Mike
Pecillo said. “He’s taken the lead in coordinating housing and airport transportation for the
players who arrive midseason, he’s got a great radar on the general feel of the team and each
individual’s mood on the day. If you’re going through the motions in training, you’re hearing
about it from Bryan. If you’re showing signs of having a bad day off the field, he’s going to pick up on that and drag you into better spirits. He’s the pulse of the team in a way that I haven’t seen
in a while.”

On the field, Hernandez is focused on playing towards the club’s the philosophy.

“We emphasize playing out of the back, all the way down to the U-9 level they have all the
goalkeepers playing out of the back,” Hernandez said. “So, I try to be good with my feet and
show that playing out of the back helps out. Every goalkeeper is expected to have good
footwork, but I do feel like my ability helps give confidence to the team, and with confidence we
can only get better from there.”

Hernandez and the Shadow are looking to grow their confidence and to improve in order to reach
their goals for the 2019 season.

“Personally I want to of course give up less goals, but more than that I want to be able to help out
the younger guys, help them get acclimated with the team and the city,” Hernandez said, “And
on the team level, obviously we want to have a better run than last year, so hopefully we can
make it to the playoffs this year and extend our run.”

As a club with a forward-thinking focus, players like Bryan Hernandez provide the perfect
template, on and off the field, for young players and senior players alike to strive towards.

Photo Credit: Gerald Barnhart/Spokane SC Shadow

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