COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced that forward Gyasi Zardes was voted Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) following the action of MLS Decision Day 2018, presented by AT&T. It is the second Player of the Week honor for Zardes, who previously earned the award earlier this season during Week 11.
Zardes earned the award following his performance on Decision Day on Sunday, October 28, in which he scored three goals against Minnesota United FC. The forward’s hat trick, his first career three-goal match, included netting the game-winning goal in Crew SC’s 3-2 home victory over the Loons, clinching the fifth seed for the Black & Gold heading into the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. The 27-year-old’s performance on Sunday marked the fourth time in 2018 that he has scored two or more goals at MAPFRE Stadium, having previously registered braces against the Montreal Impact on March 10, the Chicago Fire on May 12, and Orlando City SC on July 21.
In 33 matches in the 2018 MLS regular season, Zardes scored 19 goals – more than any other American player – tying with Houston Dynamo’s Mauro Manotas for fourth-most goals in the League, behind only Atlanta United FC’s Josef Martinez (31 goals), the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (22 goals) and the New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips (20 goals). Zardes’ 19 goals in regular-season action also set a new single-season high in goals for the forward, surpassing his previous single-season career high of 16 goals which he achieved in 2014. Additionally, Zardes is now third on Crew SC’s list of most goals in a single regular season, behind only Stern John (26 goals in 1998) and Kei Kamara (22 goals in 2015).
This is the 54th time in MLS history that a Crew SC player has been named MLS Player of the Week. Zardes joins current teammates Federico Higuain (three times) and Justin Meram (one time) in having earned the weekly honor while a member of Crew SC.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from the NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.
Up next, the Black & Gold travel to Audi Field to take on D.C. United in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Knockout Round on Thursday, November 1 (8:00 p.m. ET / FS1, Unimas, CD102.5 FM, English and Spanish audio broadcasts available on ColumbusCrewSC.com).