NEW YORK (Monday, August 8, 2022) – Colorado Rapids forward Gyasi Zardes was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire for the 24th week of the 2022 MLS season.
Zardes scored a hat trick in the first 61 minutes of the Colorado Rapids’ 4-3 win over Minnesota United FC on Saturday, August 6 (Watch Highlights from His Performance Here). Zardes’ hat trick was the first by a Rapids player since Kei Kamara scored three goals vs. CF Montréal on August 3, 2019. With his performance, Zardes became the fifth player in MLS history to record multiple hat tricks against the same team after he previously produced the only other hat trick in his career against Minnesota on October 28, 2018 while with the Columbus Crew. Zardes joins Mamadou Diallo (vs. LA Galaxy), Stern John (vs. Miami Fusion), Cobi Jones (vs. Colorado), and Carlos Vela (vs. Colorado) as the only players to do so.
After Colorado fell behind four minutes into the match, Zardes tied the game in the seventh minute after Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair bobbled a shot from distance and Zardes became the quickest to pounce and poke it into the net (Watch Here). Once the Rapids extended the lead to 2-1, Michael Barrios sprinted down the right side of the 18-yard box and his deflected cross found Zardes who fired a one-time finish into the top of the net from close range to give Colorado a two-goal cushion in the 15th minute (Watch Here). Despite Minnesota pulling a goal back, the forward finished off his hat trick in the 61st minute when Diego Rubio’s shot was saved into the six-yard box and Zardes raced on to it, placing it in the back of the net with a sliding finish (Watch Here).
In his last six games for Colorado, Zardes has scored five goals and produced one assist, leading the team to a 3-1-2 record. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward now has 94 career MLS goals, tying him with Atlanta United FC’s Josef Martínez for the 12th-most in MLS history and the second-most among active players, trailing only Kei Kamara (134). Zardes has now scored at least six goals in eight of his 10 MLS seasons, doing so with three different teams (LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, and Colorado).
Zardes is the first Rapids player to win MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire since Andre Shinyashiki in Week 27 of 2019. Zardes and Shinyashiki are the only Rapids players to earn the award since the start of 2015. Among active players, Zardes’ six MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire honors are the third-most behind LAFC’s Vela (eight) and Atlanta’s Martínez (seven). Since the start of 2021, he is tied with Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (LA Galaxy), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), and Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC) for the most Player of the Week awards in MLS with three.
Colorado will look to win three straight games for the first time since August 14-21, 2021 when they host the Columbus Crew at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, August 13 (9 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+).
The MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.