Colorado Rapids complete signing of Gyasi Zardes from Columbus Crew

Zardes leaves Columbus after five years at the club.
Zardes leaves Columbus after five years at the club. / Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch /

The Colorado Rapids have significantly boosted their attacking options with the signing of striker Gyasi Zardes from the Columbus Crew.

Colorado have paid an initial $300,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) for the 67-time United States international, with a further $1.1m if Zardes meets certain performance metrics and signs a three-year deal with the Rapids at the end of the 2022 season.

Zardes will occupy a Designated Player spot at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and ends the Rapids' long-running search for a top-quality center forward.

“Gyasi is an elite level attacker with a strong history of production and a successful track record both in MLS and with the US men’s national team,” Colorado executive vice president and general manager Pádraig Smith said in a club press release.

“His character, mentality, experience and goalscoring prowess will greatly benefit our team. We’re thrilled to bolster our offense with his signing and look forward to welcoming him to Colorado.”

Zardes was in the final year of his contract with the Crew and the remainder of that deal has been picked up by the Rapids.

With 61 goals in 122 appearances across all competitions, Zardes leaves the Crew third on the club's all-time scoring charts, helping them win MLS Cup (2020) and Campeones Cup (2021) titles.

“First and foremost, we want to thank Gyasi personally as he has been an important member of the Crew and the Columbus community since joining in 2018," Columbus president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a release. "We know Gyasi quickly became a fan favorite given all of his contributions both on the field and throughout Central Ohio and we did not take this decision lightly.

“When we think about the type of character and family we want in Columbus and in this league, Gyasi is a wonderful example of someone who fully embraced what it means to be a Crew player. He will always be a part of Crew history and our Black and Gold family.”