Rio Grande Valley FC has added 15-year-old forward Dylan Hernandez as a USL Academy signing, making him the youngest player in the club's history. | Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley FC announced on Monday the club had signed forward Dylan Hernandez to its 2022 USL Championship roster as a USL Academy signing, pending league and federation approval. At just 15 years of age, Hernandez becomes the youngest player to sign a USL Academy contract in RGVFC’s history.
As USL Academy signings, players are available for selection by the Toros in USL Championship play throughout the 2022 season while retaining their NCAA eligibility.
Hernandez has spent the past two seasons within the RGV FC Academy ranks, having joined in March 2020, bringing a prodigious talent that has resulted in his progression to the First Team roster. The Pharr, Texas native has previously been selected to the United States Men’s National Team Under-15 player pool, a major step toward representing the country in official FIFA tournaments in the coming years.
Following the club’s restructuring in 2021, when RGVFC became an independent club after affiliation with Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo FC, the Toros have shifted a focus to developing their academy system and providing true opportunity for local products to achieve their goals of moving into the professional ranks. The club’s focus on offering top young players the chance to move into the professional game mirrors that of numerous other clubs in the USL Championship, with Orange County SC and United States U-20 international Kobi Henry becoming the most recent young talent to be transferred to a top-flight European club in Ligue 1’s Stade de Reims last week.
With a reputation for developing young, talented players, Toros Sporting Director Wilmer Cabrera is aiming for players like Hernandez to find a new level of maturity on the training pitch and in the locker room alongside the veteran players who help mentor the young players as the Toros also aim to compete for silverware in the USL Championship.
“Dylan is one of the youngest and very talented players, with a great mentality, at this moment,” said Cabrera. “He is in a prime development stage, and we are excited about his decision to be with the team and continue his soccer career, which we hope will be long and successful.”
15-year-old Dylan Hernandez has been part of the United States U-15 National Team pool, having joined the Toros Academy two years ago. | Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
Dylan Hernandez (15) joins Jose Luna (16), Duilio Herrera (17), Alexis Gonzalez (17), and Gael Gonzalez (18) as the 2022 class of USL Academy signings. The lone player who has seen action so far, Herrera, has logged 226 minutes of action and has scored his first goal in the professional ranks in the USL Championship while competing as a USL Academy signing.
With Hernandez’s addition, RGV FC now has five USL Academy signings in its current 29-player squad, the most the club has had in a single season. All five have come through the RGV FC Academy and are local to the Rio Grande Valley.