Atlanta United completes loan for Ronald Hernandez

Venezuela's Ronald Hernandez (left) and Colombia's Johan Mojica battle for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Barranquilla, Colombia. (Mauricio Dueñas/AP)
Venezuela's Ronald Hernandez (left) and Colombia's Johan Mojica battle for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Barranquilla, Colombia. (Mauricio Dueñas/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Atlanta United announced the completion of a loan for Ronald Hernandez from sister club Aberdeen in Scotland on Wednesday.

Hernandez was one of the first reported acquisitions by the Five Stripes months ago, but the move wasn’t finalized until the past few days. His contract with Aberdeen lasts until May 2024, but reports in Scotland have him not returning to The Dons.

Hernandez is a 23-year-old native of Venezuela who plays right fullback. Aberdeen paid a reported fee of $1.1 million to acquire Hernandez. He made six appearances for the club during the 2020-21 Premiership season before going on “compassionate leave” in December 2020 to rejoin his wife and daughter in Venezuela.

He has made 17 appearances for Venezuela’s national team, making him an intriguing signing for the Five Stripes.

“Ronald is a young, talented defender, and we’re pleased to add him to our roster,” Atlanta United vice president Carlos Bocanegra said in statement from the club. “Like many international players, he had to endure difficult circumstances over the last year, and we’re eager to give him an opportunity to compete in a new environment.”

Hernandez started his professional career at Zamora in Venezuela, where he made 12 appearances. He was transferred to Stabaek in Norway in 2017, during which he made 63 appearances and had seven assists, before joining Aberdeen in January last year.

Hernandez will compete at right back with Brooks Lennon and Machop Chol.

Hernandez is the third Venezuelan signed by Atlanta United. Josef Martinez, named league MVP in 2018, was the first. Jose Hernandez, a fullback signed before the 2018 season and who made one appearance for the first team in two years, was the second. He is no longer with the club.

Hernandez will occupy an international slot on Atlanta United’s roster. He joins Fernando Meza, Jurgen Damm, Marcelino Moreno, Lisandro Lopez, Jake Mulraney, Matheus Rossetto, Santiago Sosa and Anton Walkes on that list. Should the team confirm the reported signing of Franco Ibarra, he would also occupy an international slot.

Atlanta United’s roster

Goalkeepers (2): Brad Guzan, Alec Kann

Defenders (9): Mikey Ambrose, George Bello, George Campbell, Franco Escobar*, Ronald Hernández, Brooks Lennon, Fernando Meza, Efrain Morales, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes

Midfielders (10): Mo Adams, Ezequiel Barco, Machop Chol, Jürgen Damm, Emerson Hyndman, Marcelino Moreno, Jake Mulraney, Matheus Rossetto, Santiago Sosa, Tyler Wolff

Forwards (5): Jackson Conway, Erik Lopez, Lisando López, Josef Martinez, Erick “Cubo” Torres

* On loan to Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina

In Other News