Nashville SC face high-scoring Cucho Hernandez, Crew

While Cucho Hernandez has played a major role in the Columbus Crew scoring nine times in the past two matches, they are more a one-man team, presenting a dilemma for visiting Nashville SC on Wednesday.

The Crew (9-3-6, 33 points) routed Sporting Kansas City 4-0 on June 22 behind three goals from Hernandez, and the forward contributed a goal and two assists in the 5-1 victory at New England on Saturday. Hernandez leads the team with 10 goals in 13 games, although five different players tallied against the Revolution.

“He gives us so much obviously,” Crew midfielder Max Arfsten said. “Everyone knows how he can score goals, but he also attracts a lot of the attention. … His presence alone sometimes creates space for other people.”

Arfsten was a benefactor when he took advantage of an open look and ripped a shot from 18 yards for the Crew’s second goal, which came just before the half.

But it was the fourth goal — a header by Rudy Camacho from a Diego Rossi corner — that certainly should have Nashville (6-6-8, 26 points) concerned, after they allowed Inter Miami a pair of goals from restarts in a 2-1 loss on Saturday.

“Obviously, the two set-piece goals that we conceded is something that we’ve got to review and get better on and improve,” Nashville midfielder Amar Sejdic said.

Nashville trailed by those two scores until Hany Mukhtar scored in the 73rd minute, but it wasn’t enough.

“I thought we should’ve done better with execution of the scoring chances we had in the first half,” Nashville interim coach Rumba Munthali said.

That hasn’t been a problem for the Crew’s dominant trio of forwards. In addition to Hernandez’s big match, Rossi had a goal and two assists and Christian Ramirez added two assists vs. New England.

Crew coach Wilfried Nancy likes the chemistry they’ve built.

“This is something that they have together,” Nancy said. “There are certain things that I cannot coach. There are feelings, there is a sensitivity. They do it well. … This is a good option for me.”

–Field Level Media