Three Columbus Crew players to watch for in the 2021 MLS season.
The reigning Major League Soccer champions will be in search of back-to-back titles in 2021. It was a fantastic campaign for the Columbus Crew in 2020 and they should be a force in the coming season. Here are three key Crew players to watch for in 2021.
Zelarayan was the best newcomer to the league in 2020. The former Tigres player made an instant impact for the Crew as he delivered six goals and four assists in 16 appearances during the regular season. In the postseason, he was instrumental in the title run with two goals and five assists. The 29-year-old was named the MVP of the MLS Cup final for his spectacular performance.
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After a successful first season in MLS, there still could be more to come from Zelarayan in year two with the Crew. He’s certainly going to be an impactful player for them once more and his play can dictate how well the club finishes in the Eastern Conference table. Keep an eye on Zelarayan throughout the 2021 campaign as he could become a candidate for the league’s MVP award.
It was a third consecutive season of ten goals or more for Zardes in 2020. The Crew striker was among the best in MLS when it came to scoring goals last season as he finished tied for second in the Golden Boot standings. He continues to be the goalscoring leader for the Crew and in 2021 the goals should continue to come. He’s never recorded a 20 goal regular season in MLS before but that could change in the coming campaign. Zardes will certainly be looking to impress the United States Men’s National Team coaching staff throughout the 2021 season and a 20 goal season would help his chances of getting selected for World Cup qualifying fixtures.
Room was one of the top goalkeepers in MLS in 2020. The 32-year-old goalkeeper finished third in voting for the Goalkeeper of the Year. He had a tremendous campaign that saw him record seven clean sheets and his save against Orlando City in November was named the MLS Save of the Year. In 2021, Room will have the opportunity to improve upon his first full season in MLS and potentially take the top spot in the final voting for the Goalkeeper of the Year. He’s an exciting goalkeeper and there should be more big saves from Room in the 2021 campaign for the Crew.