Nineteen goals from forward Gyasi Zardes - Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year - combined with a Columbus Crew SC debut goal for midseason acquisition Patrick Mullins combined for just under half of the Club’s goals in the 2018 regular season.
As yet another evident showcase of the Black & Gold's forward-centric offense this season, the Club's goal-scoring tendency also points to - though less apparent - Zardes' exquisite Shot Conversion Rate of 25.68 percent during the regular season.
Interestingly, in a league-to-league comparison, Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who's scored 13 goals this season in the English Premier League, currently holds a shot conversion rate of 20.3 percent, compared to 19.4 percent from Liverpool's Mohammed Salah and 20.0 percent from Chelsea's Eden Hazard.
Additionally, Zardes’ contributions eclipsed prior personal single-season bests in goals (19), game-winning goals (4), minutes played (2,948), and shots on goal (40), while becoming just the third player in Crew SC history to record 19 or more goals in a single regular season.
From start to finish, Crew SC's production up top – with Zardes as the No. 9 and in Mullin’s scoring instance as a No. 10 – the Club saw consistency from the season opener to the season finale, while almost always guaranteeing a little extra flair for matches at MAPFRE Stadium. The Black & Gold posted 11 wins at home – tied for 4th-most in MLS – while tallying 32 of the season’s 41 at 1 Black & Gold Boulevard.
Zardes, who led all U.S.-born players in MLS in scoring, opened the 2018 regular-season home schedule with a brace against Montreal…
…only to end the regular season with his first professional career hat trick, coming at the expense of Minnesota United FC en route to sealing a spot in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Mullins, who was acquired on July 11 from D.C. United, arrived with a bang after making his first appearance in Crew SC's 3-2 comeback win over Orlando City on July 21 before earning his first start for the Black & Gold against the Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls.
The five-year MLS veteran laid off the game’s opening assist to teammate Jonathan Mensah before taking matters into his own hands with a patiently hit strike past Red Bulls’ goalkeeper Luis Robles to take a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 road win.
Mullins was eventually named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week for his Week 22 efforts. On the year, the University of Maryland product made 10 regular-season appearances for Crew SC, including two starts.