The US men’s national team forward stepped up to the penalty spot in the 17th minute and beat LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy for a 1-0 lead in Saturday’s Western Conference matchup at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
"I was talking to Marcelo [Balboa] earlier about scoring the first goal and the pressure, I told him I got to embrace it," Zardes told Univision after the 2-0 win. "It is such a good feeling to score here in front of our home fans, especially (being) my first goal.”
Zardes, 30, was traded from the Columbus Crew to Colorado on April 22 for $300,000 in General Allocation Money upfront and an additional $1.1 million in GAM incentives. He’s remained a Designated Player with the Rapids, giving them an experienced option in the No. 9 role.
Zardes has 14 goals in 68 USMNT caps. His Crew career included 54 goals and six assists across 110 regular-season games.