The San Jose Earthquakes announced their season ending roster moves yesterday, and among the players that did not have his contract option picked up was defender Victor Bernardez. Big Vic, as he was affectionately known by the Quakes faithful, played six seasons for San Jose and was a mainstay in the center of defense. His last appearance with the club was in its 5-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS Cup Playoffs late last month.
Bernardez played in 162 games for San Jose since debuting for the club in the 2012 MLS season opener. He scored six times in those six seasons, as well as netting once in the playoffs back in his first Quakes season, famously against the LA Galaxy. Big Vic also played a big part in his native Honduras’ national team, earning 78 caps and playing in two World Cups.
Following the move by the Quakes to cut ties with Bernardez, he took to Instagram to thank the fans of San Jose for their support. He has said earlier this season that he had hoped to play one more season and then retire as a professional. It is not clear what Bernardez will do next in his career.
Following Bernardez’ post, Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli took to Twitter to thank Big Vic for all of his contributions to the club.
Gracias por todo, Vic. Eres un ejemplo para nuestro club por tu umiltad y devocion. Un abrazo https://t.co/Tu3EvfIpo2— Jesse Fioranelli (@JesseFioranelli) November 28, 2017
With the end of the Bernardez era in San Jose, the Earthquakes will have to look elsewhere for such an influential leader on the back line. The team currently has three center backs on the roster — Florian Jungwirth, Harold Cummings, and Fancois Affolter — but they’ll need to add to that depth ahead of the 2018 MLS season.