Dániel Gazdag came in with relatively high expectations during the 2021 season. When he was brought in during early May, Gazdag was expected to give the Union’s offense a jumpstart and play a key role in the Union’s attack.
Overall, Gazdag’s signing wasn’t a failure and added some benefit to the team, particularly down the stretch. The Hungarian international is a regular starter who contributes something positive to the offense almost every game.
Gazdag finished the year with five goals and four assists for the blue and gold, tallying one of each in the playoffs in a busy calendar year that saw him play in 53 games in all competitions for the Union, national team, and former club Budapest Honvéd FC. He ends 2021 having logged 3,652 total minutes.
As he familiarized himself more with his new team, his impact on games became more noticeable. It wasn’t until the Minnesota United game in October that he scored his first goal from the field (his first was from the penalty spot against Toronto FC in early August) but it ended up starting a strong run of form that saw Gazdag collect either a goal or assist in half of his final eight games of 2021.
Overall, 30 percent of his shots were on goal, and 10 percent found the back of the net. Not startling statistics, but solid ones. The Union, however, would have liked him to score a little bit more. Putting up nearly seven expected goals for the year, Gazdag’s 5 actual goals fell a little bit short of the standard he would have liked to have met.
To Gazdag’s credit, he did join the team in the beginning of the year, and was able to adjust pretty quickly to a team that was already in the middle of its season. After flying across the Atlantic Ocean to join the team, Gazdag was a part of a special season for the Union, and added his value to the team. Gazdag was a consistent starter, and was on the pitch for most of his time with the Union this year, including every minute of Union’s MLS Cup Playoff campaign.
Internationally, Gazdag had a strong run with Hungary during World Cup Qualifiers, scoring three goals in seven games, despite Hungary failing to reach Qatar in 2022. Gazdag’s international performances raised his value, and put him in good form to close out the Union’s season.
MLS Team of the Week: Week 17 and Week 34; Team of the Week Bench: Week 31
Brotherly Game Reader Player of Game: Minnesota United, October 20, FC Cincinnati, October 31
FotMob Man of the Match: Minnesota United, October 20, Toronto FC, August 4