Columbus Crew: Lucas Zelarayan leads the way to MLS Cup triumph

Columbus Crew, Lucas Zelarayan #10 (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Columbus Crew, Lucas Zelarayan #10 (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images) /

Lucas Zelarayan paved the way to victory in the MLS Cup final

The player that broke the Columbus Crew’s club record transfer fee in December of 2019 helped lead the way to an MLS Cup title in December of 2020 for his new club. Lucas Zelarayan was the star of the final as the Crew claimed their second MLS title in franchise history.

The 28-year-old was involved in all three of the Crew’s goals as he finished with two goals and one assist in the 3-0 victory. He became the second player in MLS Cup history to be involved in three goals in the final and the third player to score two goals in the final. There’s no question Zelarayan was the man of the match in this edition of the MLS Cup final.

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Instrumental playoff performance

Zelarayan was a key player for the Crew during the entire playoff campaign. Entering Saturday’s final against the Seattle Sounders, the Crew’s playmaker had registered at least one assist in all three of their playoff matches en route to the final.

Zelayaran helped set up the match-winning goals against the New York Red Bulls, Nashville, and the New England Revolution. He lived up to the expectations of his transfer fee and delivered a memorable postseason performance in his first season in MLS. The Designated Player proved to be an absolutely invaluable addition to the team.

Newcomer of the Year

In November, Zelarayan was named the MLS Newcomer of the Year. After his playoff performance, there’s no question he was the deserving winner of this award. During the regular season, he registered six goals and four assists in 16 appearances.

He followed up his strong performance in the regular season to finish with two goals and five assists in the postseason. Add an MLS Cup to these numbers and there’s no debate when it comes to the impact he’s had in his first year in the league.

A future MVP winner?

Zelarayan will certainly be a player to watch in 2021. He has what it takes to be the league’s MVP after what he displayed during the 2020 campaign. If he can replicate his 2020 form and stay healthy then Zelarayan will be in the running for the MLS’ top player award.

Next. Houston Dynamo: Two DP spots open for playoffs goal. dark

He should have the same attacking players surrounding him next season and Zelarayan will have the opportunity to continue to register a large number of assists. The Argentine has a bright future ahead as a dominant player in the league.