TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Extension
Columbus Crew and star midfielder Lucas Zelarayan have agreed to a contract extension through the 2024 season, the club announced Thursday. The deal includes a team option for 2025.
Zelarayan, 29, joined the Crew ahead of the 2020 campaign from Liga MX's Tigres UANL as their club-record signing and has surpassed even their loftiest expectations. The midfielder led Columbus to win MLS Cup during his debut season, as he delivered two goals and five assists over their four Audi MLS Cup Playoff games. He was named MLS Cup MVP, plus helped guide the club to winning this year's Campeones Cup.
"Over the past two seasons Lucas has proven himself to be one of the top game-changers in MLS and we are excited to sign him to a new contract," Crew president & general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club statement. "We signed Lucas in December of 2019 because we know the importance of having difference-makers in MLS in order to contend for championships.
"He chose Columbus because he wanted to win trophies, which is exactly what he has done – helping us win MLS Cup last year and Campeones Cup this year. Lucas has proven that he can perform under pressure, and he shines time and time again when the spotlight is brightest. We look forward to seeing what else Lucas and the team can achieve together in 2022 and beyond."
Zelarayan has 18 goals and 11 assists over 48 MLS regular-season appearances (40 starts). This fall, the Argentine-born attacker also switched nationalities and began representing the Armenian national team.
The deal locks down Zelarayan with the Crew through at least his age-33 season.