COLUMBUS – Today, Major League Soccer announced that Columbus Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan has been voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 6 of the 2021 MLS season following his two-goal performance against New York City FC on Saturday (May 22). This is the first time that Zelarayan has been named MLS Player of the Week. Additionally, Zelarayan was also named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for Week 6.
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In Saturday’s road contest against New York City FC, Zelarayan scored two direct free-kick goals, becoming the first Columbus Crew player to do so since Federico Higuain accomplished the same feat in 2012 against the New England Revolution (August 25). Zelarayan’s first goal came in the 82nd minute of the contest, before he added a second goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to clinch a 2-1 victory for The Crew. The tally was the Argentine’s ninth goal in 21 regular-season appearances for the Black & Gold, with his game-winning strike marking the fourth time he has scored the game-winner in regular-season action.
WATCH | Lucas Zelarayan drills it from deep to equalize
WATCH | Lucas Zelarayan does it again, this time with a game-winner in stoppage time
Zelarayan scored a free-kick goal earlier this year during a home match against D.C. United (May 8), which earned him a place in MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Notably, the midfielder is the first MLS player to score three free-kick goals in one season since Laurent Ciman (2018). Last season, Zelarayan was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi on five occasions during the regular season (Weeks 1, 9, 13; MLS is Back Tournament Rounds 1 & 2) and went on to win MLS Newcomer of the Year. The Argentine playmaker was named MLS Cup MVP for his performance against Seattle Sounders FC in the 2020 MLS Cup, in which he scored two goals and provided one assist in The Crew’s 3-1 win.
Zelarayan is the first Crew player to be named MLS Player of the Week since forward Gyasi Zardes, who earned this honor during Week 35 of the 2018 MLS season.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.
After a three-match road stretch, Columbus Crew returns to Historic Crew Stadium to face Toronto FC on Saturday, May 29 [3:00 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. The contest is set to be The Crew’s penultimate match played at Historic Crew Stadium.