Ask A Quake is a new segment that I will be featuring in my blog this season. I gather questions from Earthquake fans for a particular player, and give the fans a chance to, in a sense, interview players and ask the questions that are burning in their brains. First up is defender Jason Hernandez.
ASR: With Cochrane out with an injury, how will it be filling in at the centre back position?
JH: In college ball, I played on the right, but as soon as I got to this level, I really became a centre back. My three previous years I was a centre back, so its not that foreign to me. I’m excited to be back there. With Nick and Joe behind me, they’ll do a good job of helping me to readjust. I’m just going to try to hold down the fort until Ryan Cochrane gets better. I think we should be alright.
ASR: Do you feel pressure being a young guy, the expectations from fans in San Jose who have been starving for soccer?
JH: I wouldn’t say I feel pressure, not any more than I put on myself to come out and perform each day. Soccer is a really big part of San Jose and the Bay Area in general. I’m just excited to be here, I want to prove myself, and show the fans that we’re a bunch of guys who are here for the right reasons and to show that we can play.
ASR: What are the primary differences in training between Chivas U.S.A. and the Earthquakes?
JH: Every team, every club, every coach has its own style. My previous coaches were Preki and Bob Bradley, who were very structured and we did the same thing each day of the week, really getting into a routine of things. Here, we make adjustments as we go depending on the team we face or how the guys are feeling. We make it a point to make adjustments in training based on whatever the team needs, and that’s something I’ve noticed to be a difference. Other than that, football is football, so we go after it the same way.
ASR: What do you see as the Quakes’ strongest and weakest points right now?
JH: Right now we’re struggling to establish ourselves as the force we did in preseason. We just need to step back a bit and really buckle down. We need to make sure we’re tough to play against and our scoring opportunities and our goals will come. I think we’re making strides in the right direction with Chicago and Colorado, we suffered a bit in New York away from home, but the eleven guys on the field and whoever comes in are going to make it a point to keep us going in the right direction.
ASR: Do you have a favorite team outside of the U.S.?
JH: Obviously you can’t be at this level without watching a lot of soccer. To see guys in Man U, Chelsea, Barcelona, they’re all really great. For me, I wouldn’t say I have a single squad, I just love to watch particular guys: Messi, obviously Ronaldo. Any EPL team or La Liga, that stuff is just great to watch because those guys are really at the highest level and its everything we strive for and we try to get to that level day to day.
ASR: Who on the team would you least like to get in a fight with?
JH: I would have to go with Jay Ayres. I don’t know if you saw, he took a knock in Salt Lake. He’s still ticking and if he can walk away from that, then that’s not a guy I’m trying to see one-on-one. [Laughs] I’d say our new guy, our young guy, Jay Ayres.
Got a question for a Quakes player? E-mail me at Ian@americansoccerreader.com or look for me on the BigSoccer boards where I will be gathering input. Coming up in the next weeks will be: Nick Garcia, Jean-Phillipe Peguero, and Ronnie O’Brien.