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Gyasi Zardes sidelined two-to-four weeks with knee injury


The Columbus Crew needs a major push if it wants to avoid missing the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs and Caleb Porter’s side will have to do so without their star striker.

Gyasi Zardes will miss two-to-four weeks due to an MCL sprain in his knee, head coach Caleb Porter confirmed Friday. Zardes will likely miss the Crew’s final four regular season matches and could also be unavailable for U.S. men’s national team involvement during its pair of November World Cup Qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica.

Zardes suffered the injury in Columbus’ 1-1 draw with Nashville SC on Wednesday, which keeps them three points back of DC United for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Crew will play three of their final four matches at Field, starting with Saturday’s showdown with the New York Red Bulls.

The 30-year-old has contributed nine goals in 21 games this year for the Crew, but his recent injury puts him in danger of missing out on four consecutive seasons of double-digit goals. Zardes also missed the USMNT’s September qualifying window due to a hamstring injury before featuring in all three of the national team’s qualifiers this month.

Zardes’ absence leaves Porter with Miguel Berry and veteran Bradley Wright-Phillips as options at striker. Berry has scored five goals in 14 league appearances this season, while Wright-Phillips has scored once in 18 matches.

The Crew will also face Orlando City and DC United over the next two weeks before hosting the Chicago Fire on Decision Day on November 7.


  1. I like Zardes but less Zardes is probably more for the USMNT in this two-game November window.

    We know exactly what Zardes offers now. He’s good off the bench, and will run right at a tired opponent and run them into the ground. He’s tough as nails, implacably determined, and can take even a Panama kicking. And he has wooden paddles for feet.

    He’s good in a role and he’s without question done service to the shirt, but we also probably need to find better if we aspire to more.

    • Interesting how Weah gets a pass for Panama because he was playing with Lleget and Acosta giving him nothing but Zardes does not. Gyasi’s feet are better than Pefok’s, and we’ve seen Zardes score consistently against mid-level Concacaf teams while Pefok has scored once against Honduras. Weah starts CR with good players around him and everyone is like see we told you, Gyasi comes on and looks great “oh well it was just the guys he was with”. Panama wasn’t an indication of Zardes’ ability it was an indication that Berhalter picked an incredibly poor midfield setup and perhaps that Acosta and Lleget at the end of a compacted MLS season along with 18 and 16 caps respectively have run out their legs.

      • I didn’t say any of that, boo. I did say he’s got a ceiling and limitations.
        Are you arguing we can compete with England or Germany with Zardes as our 9?

      • @JOHNNYRAZOR, Your stat is probably accurate on Zardes having consistently scored against low/mid level CONCACAF opponents, but let’s be a bit fair to Pefok. How many times has Zardes played against CONCACAF teams, and how many times has Pefok played for the USMNT.

      • “Weah gets a pass for Panama because he was playing with Lleget and Acosta giving him nothing but Zardes does not. ”

        This is much Adu about nothing.

        In the criticism for Panama I did not notice that much of it if any , was aimed at Zardes.

        The criticism for Gyasi isn’t about him. Zardes has little to do with it. It’s about the manager and his lust for Teacher’s pets. No one hates those guys. They hate the manager for insisting on making them the core of the team. His words not mine.

        Anytime people compare Zardes and Weah :

        1. There is a long term huge sample size on Gyasi. In comparison, there is barely any data on Timo. Gyasi’s bed was made along time ago while Timo is just starting.
        2. Timo is 9 years younger. He’s already won a championship with Lille in a Top 5 league. There’s good reason to expect more good things from Weah.

        Gyasi is useful but he’s not a striker. He’s a wing forward who should not be a regular starter but be brought in for physical reasons.

        As for comparing him to Pefok that’s another fairly pointless comparison:

        Gyasi should be brought in when you want to get physical with the other team, Pefok is more of a specialist target man that you want to sit in the box.

        Neither one is Romelu Lukaku. And Pepi has a chance to retire both of them.
        But for now both have their uses

        For their clubs:

        Pefok 196 games 65 goals 18 assists
        Gyasi 269 games 100 goals 31 assists

        Gyasi has more USMNT goals but he’s played a whole lot more games for the USMNT than Pefok has.

        Oh and Pefok is 25 while Gyasi is about 30.

    • For me, Zardes’s performance vs. Mexico in the Gold Cup final might’ve been his best ever in a US shirt. Guy never let Mexico get comfortable playing out of the back…. Relentless pressing and great movement to stretch Mexico when we were in possession. I think this game would’ve been great for him.. it’s too bad.


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