COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew introduced new midfielder Lucas Zelarayan at the John Glenn International Airport on Sunday afternoon. The Crew paid a club-record $7 million fee to transfer Zelarayan from Liga MX, the premier soccer league in Mexico, to Columbus.
The 27-year-old Argentinean previously played for Tigres UANL, where he scored 23 goals and recorded 14 assists during 139 games. Zelarayan’s career began in his home country of Argentina with Club Atletico Belgrano.
“The main thing was when Caleb [Porter] flew down to Monterrey [Mexico],” Zelarayan said. “He presented a lot of things to me including his project, the new stadium and I think this is a great step forward in my career.”
The excitement is palpable in Columbus where Zelarayan was greeted by a large group of Crew fans after his jet touched down.
Second-year head coach Caleb Porter was also on hand for the event and he spoke about Zelarayan’s importance to the team’s future success.
“As we roll into this next phase with a new stadium downtown we need some guys that are going to get people into the seats,” Porter said. “Certainly Zelarayan, you pay to watch this type of guy.”