Soccer Roots In Family
Hernandez's father and two uncles played first division soccer in Mexico. At age 18, Hernandez turned pro and joined the club team Necaxa. He led it to national championships in 1995 and 1996. Meanwhile, he had led the Monterrey Tigres to the CONCACAF Champions Cup title in 1993. (CONCACAF is the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). Hernandez scored 38 goals in 64 games for Monterrey from 1996-2000; he also competed for Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna.
1997 was Hernandez's breakthrough year internationally. He scored six goals in six games at the Copa America tournament in Bolivia, and was named the event's most valuable player while propelling Mexico to a third-place finish. Now sought by teams from several countries, Hernandez signed with the Boca Juniors of Argentina, who won out over Borussia Moenchengladbach of the German elite league, the Bundesliga, and several teams from Major League Soccer of the United States.