Gyasi Zardes joins exclusive 100-goals club: "It's something I dreamed about"

Gyasi Zardes rode his hot scoring hand into the MLS record books on Matchday 15, netting for the third straight game with Austin FC to become the 13th player in league history to reach 100 regular-season goals.

The 31-year-old veteran broke the ice at Texas rivals Houston Dynamo FC in the 22nd minute with a precise header off of Nick Lima's cross into the box.

Zardes later spoke about the milestone on MLS 360 where, fittingly, Bradley Wright-Phillips, who also hit the mark with the New York Red Bulls, asked the first question.

“It’s huge, man. It's something I dreamed about ever since I went pro and just to see the day that I hit 100 goals man, like you. I’ve been watching forwards for many years in this league and to see myself join the 100 club, it's a blessing,” Zardes told BWP. “It's a huge honor. But I always give credit to my teammates man, because they help provide the service for us strikers, you know?”

Zardes said the goal is also big for his family, including his son who is competing in the Austin FC academy.

“I have a son that's playing with the academy and man, everything I do, I know he's watching me,” said Zardes, a former LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids striker.

“This ball, I need to go find and I'm glad you mentioned that because I don't know where it's at. I need to go find it but man, everything I do is for them. They motivate me to keep working, keep grinding, wake up every morning and give them my all, so this is definitely one that's going on the mantle. And it's motivation to keep working hard to keep moving up that leaderboard.”

One of the Verde & Black's biggest offseason signings, Zardes was slow out of the gate in his Austin career, going goalless in his first 11 league appearances. But the proven MLS goal-scorer soon found the touch that's made him one of MLS' best-ever marksmen, finding the back of the net in his last three matches.

Zardes' streak coincides with ATX's improved run of form that had them riding a two-game winning streak before dropping a 2-1 decision Saturday night at Shell Energy Stadium.

He's also the second player to reach the 100-goal mark this season, with Inter Miami CF forward Josef Martínez hitting the same milestone in record fashion earlier this month.

The biggest disappointment, of course, for Zardes is that Austin were unable to claim any points and are below the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs line in the Western Conference after 14 matches. That’s a year removed from a spot in the Western Conference Final.

“It's a tough result because we've had the squad to get the job done. But we didn't get it done today,” said Zardes, who has 14 goals in 68 US men's national team games.

"But it's important that we regroup and stay close together and focus on Wednesday because the games are coming quick. We're playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, so we have a huge opportunity this Wednesday (8:30 pm ET | Apple TV - Free) to play Minnesota, which is in our conference, and it's important we get the job done at home.”