Columbus Crew's Lucas Zelarayan named MLS Newcomer of the Year

REUNION, FLORIDA - JULY 11: Lucas Zelarrayan #10 of Columbus Crew celebrates after scoring a goal on a free kick in the 27th minute against Przemyslaw Tyton #22 of FC Cincinnati during a match in the MLS Is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 11, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

After signing a record-setting deal with the Columbus Crew SC in the offseason, midfielder Lucas Zelarayan made quite a splash in his first year in Major League Soccer.

After his debut season, the 28-year-old Argentinian was voted the 2020 MLS Newcomer of the Year.

Zelarayan earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups: current MLS players, MLS club technical staffs, and a select group of media members.

"We are extremely proud of Lucas’ performance in his first season with the club and are glad to see his efforts earn him the recognition he deserves,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko.

Zelarayan signed with the crew for a club-record transfer fee and made an immediate impact, scoring the game-winning goal in the season-opening match.

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's Team of the Week five times.

In his first year in MLS, Zelarayan had the 23rd most-popular jersey sold through the league's store.

Zelarayan and the Crew will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 21, against the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.