Fernandes attended Sacred Heart University, playing on the men's soccer team. In 1998, he signed with the Long Island Rough Riders. On 11 August 1999, he went on loan to the MetroStars of Major League Soccer for one game. He had played for the Rough Riders earlier in the day, giving him a game with two different teams in two different leagues in one day. In 2000, he began the season with the Connecticut Wolves, but returned to the Rough Riders at mid-season.