COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has signed forward Gyasi Zardes to a multi-year contract extension as a Designated Player. The 27-year-old joined Crew SC ahead of the 2018 season and scored a career-high 19 goals en route to winning the 2018 Major League Soccer Comeback Player of the Year Award, the 2018 Crew SC Most Valuable Player Award and the 2018 Crew SC Golden Boot. Zardes, who began his second season with the Crew on March 2, has scored four goals and provided one assist in 12 regular-season appearances (all starts) for the Club in 2019.
Zardes enters the week as the highest-scoring American player in MLS regular-season action since the beginning of the 2018 season, having scored a total of 23 goals. Zardes has also scored the fifth-most goals in regular-season action in MLS over that span, behind only Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez (35), the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (31), Los Angeles FC's Carlos Vela (26) and the Houston Dynamo’s Mauro Manotas (24). Additionally, Zardes’ 19 strikes during the 2018 regular season moved him into third place on the Crew’s list of most goals scored in a single regular season.
“We’re thrilled that Gyasi has agreed to be a part of this team for the foreseeable future, as it shows his commitment to our Club and to our community,” said Crew SC President Tim Bezbatchenko. “Gyasi is a player who truly understands the culture of the Columbus Crew and whose work ethic is second to none. Over the last two seasons, Gyasi‘s production as the top American goal-scorer in MLS is commendable and so we are pleased that we were able to reach this multi-year extension that reflects how pivotal he is to our continued success.”
Zardes joined Crew SC on January 20, 2018, scoring a goal in his regular-season debut for the Black & Gold against Toronto FC (March 3). The forward made 33 regular-season appearances (all starts) for the Crew in 2018, leading the Club in goals (19), game-winning goals (four) and minutes played (2,948). Zardes punctuated his stellar season by recording his first professional hat trick during a home match against Minnesota United FC (October 28).
Prior to joining the Black & Gold, Zardes played for the LA Galaxy for five seasons (2013-2017), making 131 regular-season appearances (116 starts) while registering 34 goals and 17 assists for the Galaxy. A product of the LA Galaxy Youth Academy, Zardes was crucial in the LA Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup-winning campaign, scoring the first of two goals for the Galaxy.
At the international level, Zardes has been a prominent member of the U.S. Men’s National team, earning 44 caps (29 starts) and tallying seven goals since making his debut in a friendly against Chile on January 28, 2015. He scored his first goal for the Stars and Stripes in a 4-3 win against the Netherlands on June 5, 2015. Most recently, Zardes made consecutive starts for the U.S. in a pair of friendlies, scoring a game-winning goal against Ecuador (March 21) and providing an assist against Chile (March 26).
Crew SC heads on the road for its first visit to Allianz Field when the Black & Gold face Minnesota United FC on Saturday, May 18 [8:00 p.m. ET / SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English); ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)].