Zardes Crew

Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a hamstring injury, head coach Caleb Porter told media members ahead of their MLS Cup rematch with the Seattle Sounders on Saturday at Field (5:30 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes).

With that timeline, Zardes faces an uphill climb to be called into the US men’s national team for when World Cup Qualifying begins on Sept. 2 at El Salvador. They’ll also host Canada on Sept. 5 and then travel to Honduras on Sept. 8, marking a busy start to the Concacaf Octagonal.

The 29-year-old got injured in Columbus’ 1-0 loss against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. He subbed off in first-half stoppage time, pulling up gingerly following a shot.

Zardes has four goals in 14 matches (12 starts) this year, acting as the spear in front of key midfielders Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe. He’s been the Crew’s No. 9 since the 2018 campaign, with the former LA Galaxy attacker reaching double-digit goals in his prior three seasons in Columbus.

Zardes helped the USMNT win this summer’s Gold Cup and has grown into an important piece under head coach Gregg Berhalter. While not an every-game starter, he’s played a prominent role on the international stage, notching 14 goals in 62 appearances.

The injury provides a blow to Columbus’ attack, too, one that’s looking to snap a five-game losing streak. columnist Joe Lowery recently explored their final-third struggles in his weekly stats-driven piece.