Wellington Phoenix release Carlos Hernandez
The Wellington Phoenix have sensationally released Carlos Hernandez on the same day he was named in Costa Rica's preliminary World Cup squad.
Hernandez was one of the Phoenix's best players in the 2013-14 A-League season but his high maintenance personality meant he never really fitted in with the club's blue collar dressing room.
The 32-year-old had one year remaining on his contract and Phoenix general manager David Dome said the club had agreed to release Hernandez by mutual consent.
"Carlos' family have found it difficult to settle in Wellington," Dome said.
"It is tough for a player when that is the case and the club agreed to his request for a release. We congratulate Carlos on his selection to the Costa Rican team for the World Cup and believe his performances for the Phoenix played a part in that. The club wishes Carlos all the best for Brazil and in the future."
Last month Hernandez told Fairfax Media that there was no guarantee he would be back in Wellington.
''I have one more year but I don't know,'' Hernandez said.
''Football, things happen, if one team has a good offer for me. At the moment I have a contract with the Phoenix for one more year and I'm focused for the national team. But say I go to the World Cup, maybe that opens the door because an offer comes.''
Hernandez was selected today in Costa Rica's preliminary 26-man squad.
He has played 39 games at international level and represented his country at the 2006 World Cup.
His release means Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick will have an import slot to fill for the 2014-15 A-League season.
But while Hernandez's attitude was questionable, his footballing ability was not and the Phoenix are now without their chief creator and leading goalscorer in Stein Huysegems.
Following Hernandez's release, the Phoenix have 18 players on the books and can sign up to 23.