COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As the Columbus Crew await to play Orlando City in the Eastern Conference semifinals in two weeks, two Black & Gold players will be with their countries this week for the international break.
Strikers Cucho Hernandez and Jacen Russell-Rowe have departed Columbus and joined their national teams. Hernandez will be with Colombia while Russell-Rowe joins the Canadian national team.
Cucho is fresh off a phenomenal series against Atlanta United, scoring three goals and providing an assist in the three-game series where Columbus advanced. The 24-year-old, who has played three times for his country, will now wear the yellow of Colombia in preparation for two qualifying matches towards the 2026 World Cup.
Colombia will host Brazil on Thursday before playing Paraguay on the road on Nov. 21 in the team’s fifth and sixth World Cup qualifiers. Currently, Los Cafeteros sit in fifth place in the South American table with a win and three draws.
The top-six teams in the table will qualify for the World Cup, which will take place in the United States, Mexico, and Canada while featuring 48 teams. South American qualifying is scheduled to conclude in September 2025.
Meanwhile in North America, Russell-Rowe will be with Canada as they face Jamaica twice in a quarterfinal series of the CONCACAF Nations League. The Canucks will be at Jamaica on Friday before hosting the Reggae Boyz in Toronto on Nov. 21. The 21-year-old made his senior Canadian debut last summer at the Gold Cup tournament, playing three times.
The Columbus Crew will resume its MLS Cup Playoffs journey on Nov. 25 when they face Orlando City in Florida for a spot in the Eastern Conference final. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.