The most expensive signing in Columbus Crew SC history is already showing his worth and Major League Soccer has taken notice. Attacking midfielder Lucas Zelarayan was named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 1 following his impressive debut performance in the Crew’s home opener vs. New York City FC on Sunday afternoon.
Zelarayan was named to the Team of the Week bench and was Crew’s lone representative after a 1-0 victory. The new midfielder was arguably one of the biggest impacts on the game Sunday, drawing a red card from NYCFC defender Maxime Chanot in just the third minute of play. The man advantage allowed Black & Gold to play more freely, which Zelarayan took full advantage of. He was responsible for the lone goal of the afternoon with an impressive curl into the top corner from within the 18-yard box. With the goal, Zelarayan showed a level of control and poise not often seen in MLS. In the 87 minutes, Zelarayan had another shot in addition to the goal-scoring effort. Additionally, he fed Luis Diaz with a nearly impossible-to-miss assist. Unfortunately, Diaz was unable to bury it.
The outstanding performance is surely a sign of good things to come from the Argentine Designated Player. Zelarayan was one of the biggest, if not the biggest signing (not named Chicharito Hernandez) in the entire league. As the highest-priced player in Crew history at a reported $8 million, the former Liga MX standout came with high hopes. Zelarayan averaged four goals in four seasons (albeit in limited action) with his Liga MX side Tigres, and comes with even higher expectations to make a team-changing impact when the Black & Gold brought him in this offseason.
Zelarayan joins former Crew standout Ethan Finlay on the Team of the Week. Finlay had two assists in a full 90 minutes of action for Minnesota United FC in their 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.