Chattanooga Football Club Prepares To Honor Juan Hernandez Saturday At Finley

  • Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Chattanooga Football Club with honor one of the club's all-time greats on Saturday, June 10. 

Juan Hernandez, who announced his retirement from playing earlier this year,  is the club's all-time assist leader and played 126 matches in 8 seasons for CFC. 

His final match will be the only time the #10 is worn in a CFC Men's team game this year. It will also be Hernandez's final game and final time in the captain's arm band for his beloved club.

"I love the game already by itself," Hernandez said.
"You can play the game anywhere. I just never felt the same way as playing here. It felt different. It felt personal. It felt special."

For his final match, CFC and Hernandez selected Pumas FC from Paducah, Kentucky. The opponent has special meaning because Hernandez coached for that club 2014-2016. Pumas are a UPSL side, competing in the 4th tier of American soccer as an amateur team.

"Thanks to them and their help on scheduling while I lived in Paducah, it allowed me to come to Chattanooga FC," said Hernandez. "We got to build really good relationships so it will special to play against them. Most of the team will be player I coached when they were younger."

"Juan is a phenomenal soccer player and an even better human being," said Gerardo Chile, Director of Coaching for Pumas FC. "He impacted so many kids and parents' lives in the time that he lived in Paducah."

"This will be a special match for me as now I get to compete against some Pumas players that I actually coached when they were younger," said Hernandez. 

The Pumas FC Premier team is entering their third season in the UPSL. The team is mainly composed of local talent, collegiate players, and former Pumas Academy players. 

"We feel honored to play against a professional side and play at Finley Stadium to honor Juan," added Chile. "Everyone at Pumas is excited for this game. We are excited to step on the field one more time with someone that holds a special place in our soccer community."

Juanito's name is forever part of CFC history. He holds the all-time record for assists (24), is second behind only Zeca Ferraz in games played (126), and is sixth in scoring (19). He is also the final player who bridge both the amateur and pro eras for the club. 

A portion of ticket sales for the night will go to support the Juan Hernandez Scholarship Fund at CFC Academy. For every 500 tickets sold, CFC will donate $1,000 in Juan's name to the CFC Academy to make club soccer more accessible to more youth.

In the 2022 season, CFC created a commemorative bobblehead in the likeness of Juan Hernandez. Only 1,000 were created and they went quickly at Finley Stadium. The club saved a few and will give one to the first 15 people who purchase a HERNANDEZ personalized jersey inside the stadium on Saturday.

Fans can add HERNANDEZ or the #10 to the jersey for just $20 or add both for $30. 

At the end of the game, Juan will be on the field for autographs and photos with fans. A few specials guests of Juan are expected to make an appearance as well. The celebration continues next door at Chattanooga Brewing Company, where Juan will visit with fans.

Other surprises are in store during pregame as well as halftime. It is a night to celebrate Chattanooga's club and one of CFC's loyal sons.

Juan Hernandez will remain part of CFC in a variety roles. He serves as a Performance Coach for the senior teams, a director with CFC Academy, and a youth development director with the CFC Foundation. 

This game is included at no additional charge for 2023 Season Ticket holders. Season tickets and Individual game tickets are on sale now at ChattanoogaFC.com/tickets.

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