The flowing blonde mane has been cut short, but Luis Hernandez can still ignite a crowd.
Luis Hernandez, who's fourth all-time with 35 goals for the Mexican national team, led a team of retired Mexican stars to a 3-2 victory over a team of retired Honduras stars on Sunday at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Still a recognizable blonde at 48, Luis Hernandez scored in the first half and teammate Piti Altamirano scored twice in the second half to lead El Tri. Mario Gomez scored both of Honduras' goals.
The exhibition, named Copa Hermandad Clasico (Brotherhood Cup Classic), was to be played after a preseason exhibition between new semipro team Tyler FC Kings and the Shreveport Rafters, but the early game was canceled due to rain.
When the storms sweeping across the region finally let up, about 800 fans came to see the show, which also featured two Tylerites playing for Mexico, John Tyler's Daniel Hernandez and Robert E. Lee's Daniel Antunez. Antunez, 30, supplied two assists.
Daniel Hernandez, who played for four years in Mexico in addition to a decade in MLS, was once teammates with many of the players in the game.
"It's always good to come back home and play in front of a crowd and in front of family and friends," Daniel Hernandez said. "It's been a while for me, so it was just good to get back out there for a little bit.
"This is a great event. To bring these top players that some of them, their best times of their career they were some of the greatest players in the world. For them to come out here and be able to play in front of our hometown, it's great exposure to soccer."
Gomez put Honduras on top less than four minutes into the game but Luis Hernandez equalized in the 27th minute off an assist from Antunez.
After a scorching long-range goal from Gomez 11 minutes into the second half, Antunez supplied another assist, this time firing it into the box for Altamirano to knock home.
Altamirano then scored the winner with three minutes remaining, dribbling past a couple defenders before poking it past Honduras goalie Adalid Puerto.
After the game, which was played with two 40-minute halves instead of the usual 45-minute halves, many of the fans who paid $25 to watch the game stuck around to try to get selfies or autographs from the former stars.
Most obliged, including Honduras star Amado Guevara, the nation's all-time caps leader, who spent most of halftime with fans along the rails on the west side of Rose Stadium. Guevara, now 40, earned MLS MVP honors in 2004 and Copa America MVP in 2001 during his illustrious career.
Among the players in the international exhibition were stars from teams like Club America, Chivas, Monterrey, Olimpia (Honduras), Arrecife (Brazil), Brescia (Italy) and, of course, the Mexican and Honduran national teams.
Defender Claudio Suarez, who Daniel Hernandez replaced at center back in the 47th minute, has played for Mexico more times than any other player.
Even the officials were star struck, one taking a photo before the game with Mexico's Isaac Terrazas, who joined Luis Hernandez and Claudio Suarez at the 1998 World Cup.
The biggest star, Luis Hernandez, scorer of four World Cup goals in 1998, was cheered on his every touch early on. While he no longer sports the long locks of his youth, his trademark blonde hair was still as recognizable as ever on Sunday.
Luis Hernandez gained even more fans when, in the middle of the second half, he left his forward position to retrieve a small soccer ball that a young fan had accidently allowed to fall onto the pitch.
Some retired players, like Mexico's Melvin Brown and Claudio Suarez, were not quite as fit as they once were, but still retained the deft touch required of a top-level player.
Nonetheless, outside of Antunez and the occasional run from the retirees, the game was played with less aggression than a Sunday league game. Neither side pressed terribly hard to win the ball on defense, though Honduras' Jose Luis Pineda pleased the crowd with a couple back-heel flicks.
Not that the fans seemed to mind the lackadaisical pace.
The spectators came out in their favorite jerseys - dozens in the green of Mexico, a spattering of Honduras blue and white and one brave soul in a Team USA shirt. Many more sported jerseys for their favorite clubs or players, plus the unofficial jersey of Tyler: a Racquet & Jog T-shirt.
Fans arrived early, with a few dozen waiting to be let in when the gates finally opened at 2:55 p.m. following the cancellation of the Tyler FC match.
Some were able to score selfies with Luis Hernandez, while others spent time wiping down the rainwater from the damp metal bleachers and waited for a kickoff that was delayed by 75 minutes and did not begin until 5:15 p.m.
The wait was made more bearable by a surprisingly pleasant afternoon left behind by the heavy storms that powered through East Texas around noon. However, they might have preferred a first glimpse at Tyler's new semipro team.
The Tyler FC Kings will instead have to wait until their second game of the regular season, on May 20, to make their Rose City debut. They open the National Premier Soccer League slate on May 13 on the road against the Fort Worth Vaqueros.
"It's great for soccer," Daniel Hernandez said of the Kings coming to his hometown. "To have something here locally is great for soccer."
NOTES: At halftime, a fan in a Honduras shirt kicked a soccer ball through a small target from 10 yards away to win a 40-inch Samsung HDTV. ... Mexico avenged a 4-0 loss to Honduras in a friendly played Saturday. ... Both teams took 13 shots, with Mexico putting seven on target compared to four for Honduras, which earned more corner kicks than El Tri 5-3.