After burying a brace in his team's resounding 4-0 victory over Inter Miami CF on Saturday, Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zardes has been named MLS Player of the Week for Week 30 – following up on his Week 27 nod.
The US international helped key the dominant effort with goals in the 39th and 64th minutes, delivering Columbus a vital three points as they seek a late-season push back into an Eastern Conference Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot.
With the match still deadlocked approaching the 40-minute mark, Zardes got the Crew on the scoreboard with a flicked header off a pinpoint assist from Pedro Santos.
GOAL: Gyasi Zardes, Columbus Crew - 39th minute
After Santos put the Crew up 2-0 with a strike of his own just before halftime, Zardes effectively put the contest to bed with his second of the evening four minutes past the hour-mark. Santos again played the role of provider, chasing down a ball near the endline on the right side and sending in a cross that Zardes cashed home for another headed finish.
That allowed Columbus to cruise to the three-point result, with an own goal off Miami's Leandro Gonzalez Pirez rounding out the 4-0 scoreline.
GOAL: Gyasi Zardes, Columbus Crew - 64th minute
The reigning MLS Cup champions now find themselves four points shy of CF Montréal for the East's seventh and final postseason bid with five matches left in their 2021 campaign. They return to action Wednesday at Nashville SC (6 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+), with Zardes one strike away from his fourth consecutive year of double-digit goals. He has nine tallies in 20 games (17 starts) this year.
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 the vote. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.