Transfer Tracker

Austin FC sign striker Gyasi Zardes in free agency



Austin FC have signed striker Gyasi Zardes to a long-term deal, the club announced Monday, taking him off the free-agent market.

The 31-year-old joins the Verde & Black through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. He was previously on the Colorado Rapids after a midseason trade from the Columbus Crew.

“We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Gyasi and his family to Austin, and we’re excited to add a player and person of his quality to our roster,” Austin sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a release.

“Gyasi has one of the most impressive resumés of any striker to have played in MLS and brings excellent goal-scoring and leadership to the team.”

Zardes is three tallies shy of the 100-goals mark during his MLS career, which began in 2013, and he sits 13th all-time in that category. He has 97 goals and 25 assists across 267 regular-season appearances with the LA Galaxy, Columbus and Colorado.

Zardes was a key member of two MLS Cup-winning teams, the 2014 Galaxy and 2020 Crew. He was voted the MLS Comeback Player of the Year in 2018 after posting a single-season career-best 19 goals while working with Austin head coach Josh Wolff, who worked with Zardes as an assistant in Columbus.

“I can’t wait to step out on the field at Q2 Stadium and represent both Austin FC and the community as a whole,” said Zardes. “I love the way Austin FC plays, and look forward to working with Claudio, Josh, and the rest of the team. This is a special moment for my family and me.”

Zardes has 14 goals in 68 international appearances, helping the US men's national team win Concacaf Gold Cup titles in both 2017 and 2021. He last appeared in January during a World Cup qualifier at Canada.

“Having worked with Gyasi in the past, I couldn’t be more excited to have him join the team here in Austin,” said Wolff. “His quality, humility, and work ethic as a striker fit our system well, and it’s fantastic to add another player with his level of MLS success to our locker room.”

Austin are entering their third MLS season and made the Western Conference Final in 2022, led by MLS MVP runner-up Sebastián Driussi. Their main strikers last season were Moussa Djitté and Maxi Urruti.