How to watch and stream
- Thursday, Nov. 16 | 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
- Estadio Metropolitano | Barranquilla, Colombia
Cucho – who has six goals in his last seven games, including 3g/1a in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs – was called up by head coach Néstor Lorenzo as a replacement for injured striker Mateo Cassierra on Sunday evening. That followed the Crew punching their Eastern Conference Semifinal ticket with a 4-2 win over Atlanta United in Match 3 of their Round One Best-of-3 series.
Colombia are, along with Argentina, only one of two remaining undefeated teams in Conmebol World Cup qualifiers with a 1W-0L-3D record. That's good for fifth place in the standings.
The top six South American nations earn a direct spot for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico, while the seventh-place finisher will take part in an inter-confederation playoff.
The last-minute addition of Hernández makes it two MLS players on Colombia's roster, which also includes FC Cincinnati's Yerson Mosquera. The 22-year-old center back, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, made his senior national team debut last month, featuring as a late substitute in a 2-2 draw with Uruguay before getting the start in a scoreless stalemate against Ecuador.
Cucho is hoping to get his first taste of World Cup qualifiers as well after making just three previous official appearances with Los Cafeteros – all in international friendlies. But the Crew's record signing from Watford FC already has two international goals to his name, both coming against Costa Rica back in 2018.
Columbus' No. 9 most recently featured for Colombia in a January exhibition match against the United States.
The five-time World Cup champions have looked uncharacteristically shaky in the current World Cup qualifying cycle, suffering a 2-0 loss at Uruguay after a stunning 1-1 home tie against Venezuela during the October international window.
Even worse, star striker Neymar ruptured his left ACL during that fateful visit to Montevideo's Estadio Centenario, leaving La Seleção without their best player ahead of must-win matches against Colombia and Argentina (Nov. 21).
Despite all this, Brazil are in a three-way tie for second place in the Conmebol standings. They also have the distinction of being the only nation never to miss out on any of the previous 22 World Cups and are considered a virtual lock for 2026.