Gyasi Zardes Named MLS Comeback Player of the Year
Major League Soccer announced today that after his breakout regular season, Columbus Crew SC forward Gyasi Zardes has been named the 2018 MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
The 27-year-old Hawthorne, Calif. native was traded to Crew SC in the offseason before posting his strongest campaign yet, including a career-high 19 goals. He capped off the regular season with his first career hat trick on MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T to carry momentum into the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Under the guidance of Columbus sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter, Zardes has thrived all season within the club’s lone-striker formation. Zardes also eclipsed the regular season 50-goal career milestone (53), and in the process rewarded Columbus with the third-highest, single-season goalscoring output in club history. He set personal bests in minutes (2,948) and games played/started (33).
The turnaround season came just one year after posting two goals with the LA Galaxy in 2017 – a year in which he also had multiple injuries in club and international play.
Zardes’ elevated MLS play led to a well-deserved return to the U.S. Men’s National Team camp in September – his first camp since January.
The award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
Comeback Player of the Year
Player Vote %
Club Vote %
Media Vote %
Gyasi Zardes (CLB)
Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA)
Osvaldo Alonso (SEA)
Djordje Mihailovic (CHI)
Jonathan Osorio (TOR)
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners:
2018: Gyasi Zardes – Columbus Crew SC
2017: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
2016: Chris Pontius – Philadelphia Union
2015: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers
2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
2011: David Beckham – LA Galaxy
2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards