·1 August 2023
·1 August 2023
Just hours before their huge Leagues Cup clash against Club America, Columbus Crew announced that Lucas Zelarayan was leaving the Ohio-based side for Saudi Pro Leage's Al Fateh.
Zelarayan was one of the most influential players in MLS after joining in 2019 from Tigres UANL. The 31-year-old was vital in Columbus' 2020 MLS Cup triumph, as well as the Campeones Cup in 2021.
"We greatly appreciate everything Lucas has done for the Crew, including his efforts to help us win the MLS Cup, the many memorable moments and goals, and his dedication to the club and our supporters," Crew general manager and president Tim Bezbatchenko said.
The dynamic playmaker notched 30 goals and 38 assists in 97 league appearances for Columbus. Zelarayan was a fan favorite at Lower.com Field and will be sorely missed at one of MLS' original clubs.
"When we signed Lucas, we knew he would make an immediate impact on our team, our club and our city, and we thank him for being a key contributor to the club’s recent success and helping launch this new era of the Crew," Bezbatchenko added.
Zelarayan now becomes the latest player to make the move to the lucrative Saudi Pro League. But his transfer out now frees up a Designated Player spot for the Crew, who can fill that roster slot until the league's secondary transfer window deadline on August 2.
Columbus has already made three additions in this summer window as they've added the versatilte Julian Gressel, Rudy Camacho, and Evgen Cheberko to their ranks.
The Crew are now gearing up for their round of 32 Leagues Cup clash against Minnesota United on August 4 at Lower.com Field.