Columbus Crew Forward Cucho Hernández Named to 2023 MLS Best XI Presented by Continental Tire
COLUMBUS - Columbus Crew, in conjunction with Major League Soccer, today announced that forward Juan Camilo "Cucho" Hernández has been named to the 2023 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire, which recognizes the league's top players at each position as determined by members of the media, MLS players and MLS club technical staffs.
In his first full season with the Black & Gold, Hernández helped the Crew rank third in the MLS Supporters' Shield standings - the Club's highest finish since winning it in 2009 - by leading the team with 16 goals and tying the team best with 11 assists as the Black & Gold recorded a league-leading 165 shots. The forward became the second player in club history to record 25-or-more goal contributions in his first 30 matches and only the fifth to do so in an entire season. He set a franchise record with a goal contribution in nine consecutive matches (April 29 to June 17, 2023), which was the longest such streak in MLS since 2019.
Hernández also entered MLS' record books by producing the second-fastest hat trick from the start of a game, scoring three goals in just 22 minutes and 51 seconds against the Chicago Fire on Sept. 20. The Colombian striker paced the league in shots on target (58), finished second in goals inside the 18 (15) and ranked fourth in goals (16) while starting all games in which he played.
In postseason play, Hernández has tallied four goals, tied for the best in MLS, and added one assist as the Crew advance to the Eastern Conference Final against FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 2 [6 p.m. ET / MLS Season Pass on Apple TV / 97.1 The Fan (English); La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)].
The 24-year-old has three caps with Colombia. He made his senior debut in a 2018 friendly against Costa Rica (October 17), scoring two goals in a 3-1 win, including the game-winning goal, and was called up for a pair of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers earlier this month.
This is the first time that Hernández has been named to the MLS Best XI. Hernandez is the 13th Crew player in Crew history to be named to the League's Best XI and the first since defender Jonathan Mensah in 2020.
ALL-TIME CREW PLAYERS TO EARN MLS BEST XI HONORS
1997: Thomas Dooley, Brad Friedel
1998: Thomas Dooley, Stern John
2002: Jeff Cunningham
2004: Robin Fraser
2007: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
2008: Chad Marshall, Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto
2009: Chad Marshall
2015: Ethan Finlay, Kei Kamara
2018: Zack Steffen
2020: Jonathan Mensah
2023: Juan Camilo "Cucho" Hernández
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