Atlanta United signs Venezuelan defender Hernandez

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The MLS side continues to draw from South America by signing the 20-year-old left-sided defender from Caracas

Atlanta United has a new addition to its back line, announcing Wednesday it has signed Venezuelan defender Jose Hernandez.

The 20-year-old left-sided player previously had spent his entire career at Venezuelan club Caracas FC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We identified Jose as one of the young talented defenders in South America and we’re thrilled that he’s committed to continuing his development with our club,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “In addition to his experience in first-team matches at Caracas, he’s played in big matches internationally, including this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup final against England. He’s an aggressive 1v1 defender and has the ability to get involved in the attack.”

Hernandez played 14 games this season, all starts, for Caracas. That number was already a career high for the defender as he previously played in 10 games last season, starting just three.

In addition to his club experience, Hernandez has featured on Venezuela’s youth national teams, He started the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinal against the United States this summer, a 2-1 extra-time win for Venezuela, and the 1-0 loss to England in the tournament final.

Hernandez, who can play full-back, wing-back and in midfield, has also been called up by the Venezuela national team, though he has yet to appear in a game, making the bench on a handful of occasions.

Since entering the league last season, and under head coach Tata Martino, Atlanta has shown a robust recruiting effort in South America. Last season, the squad featured Paraguay international Miguel Almiron, Argentines Hector Villaba, Yamil Asad and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Chilean Carlos Carmona and Hernandez' Venezuelan countryman Josef Martinez. 

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