COLUMBUS CREW ACQUIRES 23-YEAR-OLD FORWARD JUAN CAMILO “CUCHO” HERNANDEZ IN RECORD TRANSACTION

Hernandez spent the 2021-2022 season with Watford FC, making 28 appearances across all competitions while scoring five goals and providing three assists. The forward made his club debut in a 2021 Premier League home match against Aston Villa FC (August 14), scoring just 49 seconds after coming off the bench. With the goal – which turned out to be the game-winner – Hernandez became the first Colombian player to score in his Premier League debut. Following the end of the 2021-2022 season, the striker was awarded Watford’s Goal of the Season award for his bicycle kick strike in a match against Arsenal FC.
Additionally, Hernandez became the fifth player in LaLiga history to score as a visiting player at both FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou and Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in one season before the age of 20. He is also the first player since Argentine forward Sergio Aguero to accomplish the feat, as well as the first Colombian player to do so.

“Signing a top-level player at the striker position was our main priority this transfer window and we are ecstatic to sign an elite difference-maker like Cucho,” said Columbus Crew Head Coach Caleb Porter. “Despite being just 23 years of age, he has shown a nose for goal against top level European opposition, and we firmly believe that he will flourish in our league. We are excited to get to work with Cucho and know the quality he brings to our squad will be a massive lift for our season.”

Continued Porter: “Cucho and Lucas Zelarayan together have the potential to be one of the top duos in MLS. This investment is a testament to the belief our ownership group has in this Club and our commitment to championship ambitions year in and year out. As we enter the halfway point of the season, we feel this is the missing piece to push us over the top. We are looking forward to Cucho’s integration into our game model as we believe he can be that consistent goal scorer we’ve been looking for to turn our positive play into more consistent results.”

The Pereira-born forward made his professional debut with Deportivo Pereira of Colombia’s Second Division in 2015, making 20 appearances and scoring three goals in his first season. In 2016, his second season with Deportivo Pereira, Hernandez scored 20 goals and provided four assists to finish as the leading scorer of Colombia’s Second Division. 2016 also saw Hernandez register his first hat trick, as the then 16-year-old scored three goals against Tigres FC (July 13). Following his outstanding 2016 performance, Hernandez signed with America de Cali of Colombia’s topflight.

After spending the first half of 2017 with America de Cali, Hernandez played for Spanish Second Division side SD Huesca from 2017-2019. In his first season in Spain, the forward helped Huesca earn promotion to LaLiga, Spain’s First Division. In all, Hernandez played for Huesca from 2017-2019, making 70 appearances while registering 20 goals and nine assists. The Colombian striker then joined LaLiga side RCD Mallorca for the 2019-2020 season, making 24 appearances while tallying five goals and one assist. Hernandez played for LaLiga side Getafe CF from 2020-2021, making 23 appearances, scoring two goals and providing three assists.

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