After finishing up the regular season, four players with Columbus Crew SC have been named finalists for annual Major League Soccer awards.
Defender Milton Valenzuela is a finalist for the Comeback Player of the Year. His fellow defender, Jonathan Mensah, is a finalist for Defender of the year. Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan is a finalist for Newcomer of the Year and goalkeeper Eloy Room is a finalist for the Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
Valenzuela suffered an injury during the 2019 preseason, which forced him to undergo ACL reconstruction on his right knee. He missed the entire 2019 season just after making his MLS debut.
In 2020, the 22-year-old returned to action and finished the regular season with 17 starts. He recorded three assists, including two game-winning assists.
The MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award will be presented on November 12.
Mensah is in his fourth season with the Crew. It was his first season as a team captain.
The two-time World Cup veteran played every minute of the 2020 regular season for the Crew while leading the league in blocks, passes and clearances.
He helped the Crew post nine clean sheets and was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week three times.
The MLS Defender of the Year award will be presented on November 18.
Zelarayan is in his first season with the Crew and in MLS after he was acquired in the offseason for a club-record transfer fee.
He made 16 regular-season appearances and 12 starts. Despite missing part of the season due to injury, Zelarayan scored six goals, including three game-winners, and had four assists.
He led the team in chances created per 90 minutes and completed dribbled while being named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week five times.
The MLS Newcomer of the Year Award will be presented on November 13.
Room has made 17 starts for the Crew this season and has made 41 saves while posting seven clean sheets.
During the season, he registered a 473-minute shutout streak that spanned from March 7 to September 12.
The Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year will be presented on November 16.
The Crew returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 21, against the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.