Zardes ties Golden Boot lead, makes TOTW with Steffen & Berhalter

After a dominating 3-matches-in-8-days run from Columbus Crew SC, forward Gyasi Zardes is currently tied for the league’s Golden Boot lead. Zardes has scored eight goals in 12 games for Columbus this season, even with Altanta United’s Josef Martinez.

Individuallly, this ranks as the second-highest goal-scoring season for Zardes and a halfway point to his best after scoring a high of 16 goals in 2014. 

With his brace on Saturday and midweek goal, Zardes has landed a spot on MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week alongside Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter and goalkeeper Zack Steffen (bench). Zardes was also voted Acura’s Man of the Match for his performance against Chicago on Saturday. The highlights of the eight goals leading to the Golden Boot are worth more than one watch:

March 3, 2018 @ Toronto FC

Zardes started the season on a high note, scoring in his Crew SC debut against Toronto FC. In the 46th minute, Pedro Santos sent a swerving ball onto Zardes's feet as he shot right past the defending MLS Cup champions. 

March 10, 2018 vs. Montreal Impact

In the 15th minute, Zardes scored off of a Santos free kick to put Columbus up 2-0. The ball initially deflected off the crossbar but Zardes was in the right position to punish Montreal.

March 10, 2018 vs. Montreal Impact

Deep into the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, Luis Argudo surged into the Montreal 18-yard box before seeing his run dismantled by Impact rookie Ken Krolicki. Zardes stepped up for the spot kick and buried the ball into the top corner of the net.

March 31, 2018 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Zardes opened the scoring in the 29th minute, rebounding a Santos shot. Santos fired a left-footed shot from outside the box, which was saved by Vancouver goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic. Zardes didn't stop his inbound run, despite Marinovic's save, redirecting the finish for the first-half lead.

April 21, 2018 vs. New England Revolution

Nearing the end of the first half, Zardes finished a clean passing sequence from Federico Higuain and Santos, scoring a go-ahead goal for Columbus. Zardes moved the ball behind a New England defender to set himself up in perfect position for the goal.

May 9, 2018 vs. Philadelphia Union

Zardes scored the lone goal of the game near the beginning of the second half. The forward took advantage of a Cristian Martinez cross that took a deflection and and fell to Zardes for the game-winning goal — the 40th of his career. 

May 12, 2018 vs. Chicago Fire

Zardes doubled the lead for Columbus in the 49th minute. Niko Hansen drove the ball up the right side to the endline, passing to Zardes at the last moment for the finish. 

May 12, 2018 vs. Chicago Fire

In the 70th minute, Zardes struck for the second time on a cross from Ricardo Clark. The dummy by Mike Grella was an epiphany, allowing Zardes to swiftly find the back of the net. Zardes scored three goals in two consecutive games in Week 11. 

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