Player of the Matchday

Columbus Crew's Cucho Hernández named Player of the Matchday


A first-ever MLS hat trick has led to a first-ever MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire award for Columbus Crew forward Cucho Hernández, the league's top performer in Matchday 30.

Hernández struck three times (once from the penalty spot) to secure a comfortable 4-2 win at CF Montréal, giving first-year head coach Wilfried Nancy – who left the Canadian side in the offseason to take the reins at Columbus – a triumphant return to Stade Saputo.

The 24-year-old Colombian international is the Crew's second Player of the Matchday recipient in 2023, after now-former midfielder Lucas Zelarayán in Matchday 2. The latter's departure to the Saudi Pro League during the Secondary Transfer Window pushed Hernández to the forefront of the club's three-pronged attack that also includes summer signing Diego Rossi and Christian Ramírez.

Hernández, a club-record signing from English Championship side Watford, has 9g/10a on the current campaign, producing 31 goal contributions (18 goals, 13 assists) since making his MLS debut on July 9, 2022. That's fifth-most in the league during that period. He also needs just one more assist to become just the fourth player in club history to register double-digit goals and assists in a single season.

Cucho and the Crew are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 16 (7:30 pm ET | Apple TV - MLS Season Pass) when visiting Orlando City SC in a crucial game between two Eastern Conference powerhouses looking to secure home-field advantage in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.

The MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire is selected each matchday of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.