COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew today announced its annual team award winners, unveiling the Club’s Most Valuable Player, Golden Boot, Defensive Player of the Year, Kirk Urso Heart Award, OhioHealth Humanitarian of the Year and Columbus Crew Academy Player of the Year honorees.
LUCAS ZELARAYAN – MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan claims his second-consecutive Columbus Crew MVP award after contributing 12 goals (four game-winning goals) and seven assists (one game-winning assist) during the 2021 regular-season campaign. The Black & Gold midfielder made 32 appearances (28 starts) this season and was twice named the MLSsoccer.com Player of the Week (Weeks 6 and 34). In the 2021 Campeones Cup, Zelarayan was named the GEICO Man of the Match for his performance versus Liga MX side Cruz Azul. The midfielder also made three appearances in 2021 Concacaf Champions League action, scoring one goal and providing two assists.
LUCAS ZELARAYAN – GOLDEN BOOT WINNER
Zelarayan earned his first Columbus Crew Golden Boot award after scoring a team-leading 12 goals in regular-season action. In 2021, Zelarayan led the League in regular-season goals scored outside of the 18-yard box with eight tallies, including five free-kick goals. The Armenian international’s five free-kick goals tied him with Sebastian Giovinco’s 2015 tally for second-most free-kick goals in a single regular season since Opta began tracking this statistic. Zelarayan's game-winning goal against Orlando City SC (October 7) is currently in contention for the 2021 AT&T Goal of the Year, which can be voted on here.
ELOY ROOM – DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Eloy Room made an MLS career-high 30 regular-season appearances (all starts) while seeing 2,700 minutes of action in the net for the Crew in 2021. Room finished the season with seven shutouts, making a total of 83 saves and posting a goals-against-average of 1.30. The goalkeeper’s performances earned him MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week honors three times (Weeks 13, 15 and 26). Notably, Room’s save against Nashville SC (July 21) and his one-legged save against the New England Revolution (September 18) are currently up for 2021 Save of the Year presented by Allstate, which can be voted on here.
MIGUEL BERRY – KIRK URSO HEART AWARD
Miguel Berry is the eighth player to receive this award after Kirk Urso was posthumously honored in the inaugural year of the special recognition in 2012. The forward was chosen as the player who best exemplified the qualities in a teammate and became “the heart” in the Black & Gold locker room this season. Berry was chosen by the Crew with the seventh overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft before signing with the Club on February 27 of that year. This year, Berry made 18 regular-season appearances (nine starts) for the Black & Gold, scoring eight goals and providing two assists.
JOSH WILLIAMS – HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR
This year’s OhioHealth Humanitarian of the Year Award is being awarded to Columbus Crew defender Josh Williams. A member of the Crew Foundation Board of Directors, Williams represents the First Team players and has a voice in the community work done throughout Central Ohio. In 2021, Williams hosted the Special Olympics Ohio Team at Lower.com Field as part of a VIP tour, addressing athletes ahead of their participation in the 2022 USA Games. The defender was also involved in the opening of a mini-pitch at Northgate Intermediate School.
TYLER CRAWFORD – COLUMBUS CREW ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
In recognition of his bright future and his contributions to the Black & Gold's Under-18/19 Academy team, Tyler Crawford has been named the Columbus Crew Academy Player of the Year. A defender, Crawford has competed for Crew Academy since 2019. The 17-year-old – who recently committed to Michigan State University – has also regularly volunteered with the Crew Academy’s Pre-Academy program.
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