Sources across the league said Zardes was at the very least available and the Crew are open to moving him, with a few sources heavily expecting a trade in 2022. One source went as far as to say he’s being shopped. No conversations about a potential deal have advanced, per a source.
He is in the final year of his contract with Columbus. Given that status, Zardes would likely have a big say in if a trade happens, as it's unlikely a team would trade assets to acquire Zardes without assurances of signing him to a contract extension.
Berry, 24, came on strong at the end of 2021, with eight goals and two assists in 840 minutes. Zardes and Berry each have one goal to start the season, with the Crew picking up seven points from their first three games (2W-0L-1D record).
Porter has also downplayed any semblance of a controversy, calling it normal competition and saying the Crew want to have two productive forwards. Porter’s 4-2-3-1 formation leaves room for only one to start.
Zardes has 14 goals in 68 appearances with the USMNT and has been a regular call-in for World Cup qualifying matches after returning from injury. At his age, Qatar 2022 likely represents his only chance to make a World Cup roster. Regular playing time would be key to his hopes of making the final 23-man squad, should Gregg Berhalter's side advance via Concacaf's pathway. He's started two of the USMNT’s 11 WCQ matches so far, Octagonal losses at Panama and Canada.