Updated through December 12, 2020
Columbus (2020): Zelarayan was acquired as a Designated Player on December 19, 2019 and made 16 regular-season appearances (12 starts as a center attacking midfielder) for Crew SC in 2020. The midfielder made his Crew and MLS debut as a starter on Opening Match against New York City FC (March 1) where he scored his first goal – a game-winner – with Crew SC, before starting on the road against Seattle Sounders FC (March 7). During the Group Stage of the MLS is Back Tournament, Zelarayan started against FC Cincinnati* (July 11), where he scored a goal in the 27th minute and provided his first assist for Crew SC on a Gyasi Zardes goal while providing a second assist for a Youness Mokhtar goal. He then started against the New York Red Bulls* (July 16) and scored a goal in the 47th minute, before making a substitute appearance for Pedro Santos against Atlanta United* (July 21). Zelarayan made a total of four appearances (three starts) during the MLS is Back Tournament. The midfielder started on the road against FC Cincinnati (August 29) before starting at home against Philadelphia Union (September 2), where he scored the game-winning goal in the 55th minute and earned MLS Team of the Week honors for his week-nine performance. He came back from missing two matches to injury and provided an his fourth assist at home against Nashville SC (September 19) as a substitute, then started, scored a goal and provided a game-winning assist at home against Minnesota United FC (September 23). Zelarayan started at both Toronto FC (September 27) and FC Dallas (October 3) before missing three consecutive matches due to injury. The Argentine returned from injury to make five consecutive appearances (three starts) from October 24 through the November 8 match at home against Atlanta United (November 8) where he notably scored his sixth regular-season goal for the Crew. In Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs action, Zelarayan made four starts at home: against the New York Red Bulls (November 21) - where he provided a game-winning assist - against Nashville SC (November 29) where he tallied two more assists, with one being a game-winner before starting against the New England Revolution (December 6), providing another game-winning assist and against Seattle Sounders FC (December 12) - notably scoring two goals (one game-winner), tallying an assist and was named MLS Cup 2020 MVP.
* MLS is Back Tournament Group Stage matches counted towards the 2020 MLS regular season
2016-2019 (Tigres UANL): Zelarayan made 139 appearances, scored 23 goals and provided 14 assists across all competitions for Tigres UANL. He joined Tigres UANL on December 21, 2015. The Argentine went on to make 19 appearances for the club in his first season while registering one goal and one assist in his first season in Liga MX, en route to helping Tigres win the 2016 Campeon de Campeones trophy as well as reach the 2015-2016 Concacaf Champions League Finals. During the 2016-2017 season, Zelarayan made 48 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists as Tigres UANL won the Torneo Apertura 2016 and the 2017 Campeon de Campeones trophy, as well as reached the 2016-2017 Concacaf Champions League Finals – the second time in as many years for Tigres.
The midfielder made 29 appearances during the 2017-2018 season, recording five goals and two assists as he helped Tigres UANL continued their domestic dominance by winning the Torneo Apertura 2017 and their third consecutive Campeon de Campeones trophy. Notably, Zelarayan scored a goal and provided an assist in the Campeon de Campeones final, helping Tigres defeat Santos Laguna 4-0. That season, Tigres also won the inaugural Campeones Cup by defeating 2017 MLS Cup winners Toronto FC. The Argentine player made 18 appearances and tallied five goals and four assists during the 2018-2019 season, as Tigres UANL won the Torneo Clausura 2019. That season, the midfielder helped Tigres reach the final of the inaugural Leagues Cup as well as the 2019 Concacaf Champions League Finals. During the first half of the 2019-2020 season, Zelarayan made 15 appearances with Tigres UANL, netting four goals.
2013-2015 (Club Atletico Belgrano): Zelarayan made 77 appearances across all competitions while scoring 10 goals and providing six assists. A product of the Belgrano Academy, the midfielder made his professional debut for Belgrano’s First Team on March 2, 2013. While with Club Atletico Belgrano, Zelarayan made two appearances in CONMEBOL’s 2015 Copa Sudamericana – one of South America’s two major international club tournaments.
Zelarayan is married to his wife Paula and has a son named Bautista Manuel (one year old). He is the son of Carlos and Selva. Zelarayan has five siblings: Carlos Javier, Julio Gaston, Matias, Gisella and Marcos. He enjoys playing golf and playing musical instruments during his free time including the guitar, the keyboard and the ukulele. Zelarayan enjoys listening to cuarteto – a type of music native from Cordoba – as well as rock and cumbia. His favorite musical artist include La Mona Jimenez and Los Caligaris. Zelarayan enjyos watching basketball and tennis. He enjoys playing the FIFA videogame series, but with his friends not by himself. Zelarayan loves The Fast and the Furious and the Goal! movie series, as well as the argentine film El Secreto de Sus Ojos. Zelarayan’s favorite TV show is Breaking Bad. His favorite meals are his father’s asado and his mother’s empanadas. Growing up, he looked up to Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme. Zelarayan’s favorite place to go on vacation is his hometown, Cordoba. He speaks Spanish.
Columbus Crew SC acquired attacking midfielder Lucas Zelarayan as a Designated Player on December 19, 2019. He will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, also occupying an international roster spot.
Name: Lucas Zelarayan (pronounced: LOO-cass SELL-ah-rah-YAN)
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Born: June 20, 1992 in Cordoba, Argentina
Hometown: Cordoba, Argentina
Acquired: Acquired as a Designated Player on December 19, 2019.
Previous Experience: Tigres UANL (2016-2019), Club Atletico Belgrano (2013-2015)