After an off-season full of speculation, the Galaxy finally pulled the trigger last night, sending the striker with the dyed beach blonde mohawk and a large sum of Targeted Allocated Money to the Columbus Crew in exchange for Ola Kamara.
Of course, this means Gyasi Zardes is no longer a member of the Galaxy.
Gyasi has meant a lot to a awful lot of folks since his arrival in 2012 as one of MLS’ first Homegrown Player signings. A fixture in the Hawthorne area the 26-year-old grew up in, Zardes proudly represented the area and worked tirelessly to improve the community.
Zardes really did it all. Inspired the transformation of a sketchy public park into a futsal center? Check. Mentored at-risk kids? Check. Donated equipment? Check check check. It got to the point where Gyasi patrolled the neighborhood as an intern with Hawthorne PD. Zardes never stopped.
A genuinely decent soul, Gyasi’s character was almost a throwback to a time when Americans naively expected athletes to conduct themselves like perfect role models. And yet, the role fit Zardes like a glove.
However, Gyasi’s eternal stay in the City of Angels was not to be, as is the life of a professional athlete. Even with the knowledge that the Galaxy had been shopping the striker since the summer, Zardes never took a play off or said a negative word.
Gyasi, you will be missed. Take care, and good luck.