The Columbus Crew’s 2023 preseason is off an running and the Black & Gold received some good news on Monday afternoon when midfielder Aidan Morris received his first call-up to the United States Men’s National Team for the team’s January camp. Not long after, another Columbus player also was called into his country’s camp.
Along with Morris, Crew forward Cucho Hernandez has been called by Colombian Men’s National Team head coach Néstor Lorenzo for the team’s upcoming training camp, the Black & Gold announced Wednesday. This call-up will be Hernandez’s chance for a third appearance for Colombian, representing the team in 2018 and 2022.
In his debut against Costa Rica in a 2018 friendly, Hernandez scored a brace in a 3-1 win, including the game-winner.
Before seeing action at the senior level, Hernandez represented Colombia in the 2017 South American Under-20 Championship and then the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He performed well in both competitions, registering two goals and assists in 2017, and then scoring three goals in 2019 to help Colombia reach the quarterfinals.
Hernandez joined the Crew in June 2022, for a club-record fee of $10 million from Watford of the English Premier League. The forward was with Watford from 2017-22 but went on loan three times during that period, all in Spain. From 2017-19, Hernandez was with Huesca in the Segunda league in Spain, scoring 20 goals in 69 appearances. The following season, he went on loan to Mallorca in La Liga, scoring five goals in 22 appearances. Finally, Hernandez spent time on loan with Getafe in La Liga, scoring just two goals in 23 appearances.
The forward returned to England in 2021, scoring on his debut for Watford in a 3-2 win against Aston Villa on their league opener before making the move to Major League Soccer
Hernandez found success early with the Crew. In 16 appearances for the Black & Gold last season, the striker registered nine goals to go along with three assists.
Now, entering his first full season in Columbus, Crew fans are eager to see what the young star forward can accomplish this upcoming year. Playing with several clubs and only being 23 years of age, Hernandez can bring plenty of experience and exciting attacking play.
The Colombian National team will train in Barranquilla, Colombia, beginning on Saturday, Jan. 21 before traveling to face the United States in an international friendly on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, Telemundo, Peacock, Telemundo App). This has the potential to be a battle of Black & Gold players as Hernandez and Morris could be on the field against each other while representing their respective countries.
After camp, Hernandez will rejoin Columbus as the team prepares for its second trip of the preseason in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This comes in advance of the Crew’s season opener on Feb. 25 against the Philadelphia Union.