After each round of matches for MLS Fantasy players, we'll be providing our Player of the Week, the player who we think is deserving of top spot, even if they didn't finish on the most points for a week. We'll take a look at the impact the player is having on his team, as well as the MLS Fantasy returns that they are providing. Strap in, it's time to get nostalgic. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy Week 35 - Player of the Week: Gyasi Zardes (Columbus)
The 2018 MLS regular season has come to an end, with each team playing 34 games over a consistent period each and every weekend, with many teams competing over the course of international breaks. This ever-present domestic campaign came to an end with Atlanta slipping up on the final day at Toronto, with New York Red Bulls snatching the Supporters' Shield title, whilst Houston Dynamo came back against the odds to deny LA Galaxy a play-off spot.
A season of intense drama in the final weeks also involved Columbus Crew, whose own fate in the play-off mix wasn't sealed until the final day, though their 5th place finish was confirmed when Montreal Impact lost at New England Revolution.
Columbus's last home game of the season against Minnesota was massively delayed just 10 minutes into the game due to a severe storm, meaning that with Montreal's loss, they could play with freedom knowing their post-season spot was sealed.
The 3-2 home victory against Minnesota will be forever unforgettable for one man, Gyasi, the final Player of the Week in our MLS weekly review series. Zardes, a signing from LA Galaxy in the winter transfer window, scored his first hat-trick in Major League Soccer and with 18 points was the tp MLS Fantasy player on Decision Day.
Gyasi Zardes’s Week 35 Points – Columbus Crew 3-2 Minnesota United
90 mins played: 2pts
3 goals: 15pts
6 shots: 1pt
Total: 18 points
Zardes's instinctive finishes in the penalty area, all which highlighted Minnesota's inability to defend from set-piece situations, turned out to be a blessing for the 1,250 Fantasy players that took the plunge with the cheap option in attack.
Zardes was our Differential captaincy pick this week and we couldn't have been hapier with his inclusion as it appears that his regular season, and Columbus's as a whole, has come full circle.
The USA international was a star feature for Columbus on their opening day victory of the season at MLS Cup holders, Toronto, a win which set The Crew on a season of not dropping out of the Top 6 positions in the Eastern Conference.
Columbus begin their play-off birth by visiting in-form D.C. United in the Knockout Round at Audi Field. It's just one match and with defensive resilience and familiarity with these knockout scenarios, they're not to be ignored as potential MLS Cup winners this season.
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