MLS- Columbus Crew

Crew ready to rebuild without Schelotto

  Guillermo Barros Schelotto (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

When the Columbus Crew won the 2008 MLS Cup Final, it had a deep and strong team that many believed could potentially become a dynasty.

Two years later, that MLS Cup remains the only championship won by the club, with two straight first-round playoff exits forcing the Crew to consider making major changes.

Those changes are set to be made now as the Columbus Dispatch reported on Monday that the Crew planned on not exercising the contract options of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Frankie Hejduk, Gino Padula and Duncan Oughton.

"Today the coach told me he wanted to make the team young," Schelotto told the Dispatch on Monday. "They have made the decision."

 By parting ways with Schelotto, the Crew is saying goodbye to arguably the most influential player in the club's history, the player who led the Crew to that 2008 MLS Cup title. A player who once again led Columbus in goals and assists this season.

What is next for Schelotto? It is looking like a move to another team in MLS.

Schelotto is expected to be made available in the league's new re-entry draft next month, meaning MLS clubs will have the option of signing him at his Designated Player-level option year. If all teams pass, Schelotto could be re-signed by MLS to a smaller deal, and go into another re-entry draft.

Long story short, Schelotto should be back in MLS and there should be several teams lining up for his services.

Who exactly? Here are some possibilities:

D.C. UNITED– With Jaime Moreno departing, the club could certainly use Schelotto's skill and playmaking ability. Imagine a Schelotto-Juan Pablo Angel pairing in D.C.

HOUSTON DYNAMO– The club needs an attacking spark and Schelotto could fit right in. This is assuming the Dynamo don't already have a playmaker lined up, which some rumors suggest they do.

CHIVAS USA– The Goats need plenty, but a playmaker is at the top of that list. Would Chivas USA spend the money to make it happen, or if the team's new coach will want Schelotto.

NEW YORK RED BULLS– It's probably unlikely, but the idea of having Schelotto setting up Thierry Henry and Juan Agudelo and working with Rafa Marquez would be special.


As for Columbus, the Crew can't be blamed for wanting to turn to youth, but the team absolutely better have a replacement for Schelotto on the radar because a Columbus team without him in 2011 isn't going to come close to challenging for MLS Cup, or beating Real Salt Lake in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Here is what Columbus can look like minus the veterans it is cutting loose:






That isn't a bad squad, but one clearly in need of either a top striker or playmaker.

What do you think of the Crew's decision? Where would you like to see Schelotto wind up?

Share your thoughts below.

  • djs

    Agreed… you articulate my reaction perfectly when you say you are “deeply hurt but understand” these moves. It is very unfortunate that Crew fans will evidently not have an opportunity to properly bid farewell to four veterans who have been the heart and soul of what, over the course of the past three seasons, has been the top team in MLS (two Supporters Shields and serious contention for a third before this yr’s late fade).

    The moves may make good business sense, but I wonder if their rather perfunctory nature suggests that the club might be taking their fans for granted. In addition, reading between the lines of the Dispatch article and beat writer Shawn Mitchell’s blog (more GBS tidbits), one has to ask if there are power issues going on below the surface between Warzycha and the front office (Bliss/McCullers). It sounds as if they’re not even talking about negotiating a lower salary for GBS, so somebody obviously wants him gone. Unless they have a super replacement already lined up, I think that’s insane, given GBS’ desire to remain in Columbus and the suggestion that he’d accept a non-DP salary. They better know what they’re doing… but other than Sigi Schmid’s tenure, the Crew brass doesn’t exactly have a great track record.


  • theultra

    The Crew doesn’t quite break even as a team but when you add in the stadium revenue (which is tallied separately thanks to single entity) they make money


  • Jason

    The problem with your theory is that Columbus doesn’t own his contract, MLS does. If Columbus doesn’t pick up his extension, he is NOT out of contract. Columbus has what amounts to a right of first refusal. They refused; therefore, any other team in MLS can pick that option up, because he’s still under contract with MLS. In the CBA last year they agreed that instead of having it be a free for all, they would do it by lottery. Only if every team passed on him would he be out of contract, because at that point MLS, who holds the contract, would not pick up the option on the contract. Which is why Ives said that he COULD be re-signed by MLS at a smaller price. Even at this smaller price, MLS would still hold the contract and he would go through the re-entry draft again.


  • Never First

    Warzycha never wanted GBS. He tried to get rid of him after last season, but GBS decided to take a major paycut instead so his hands were tied. This time, Warzycha decided not to give him that option. He wants his own players leading this team, so he’s not living in Sigi’s shadow. Sadly, it should be Warzycha being run out of town. Crew will be extremely lucky to make the playoffs next year.


  • Tim M.

    He’s be a good fit for Chivas. They need some vet leadership. But Trujillo isn’t exactly horrible. San Jose, DC, and TFC (probably not)could all use him.

    Other then that it would have to be an expansion team, unless some weird trades happen.


  • Tim M.

    JPA and GBS, great. Great like in Jamie Moreno, Fred and Gallardo all over again.

    That said. Schelotto, Boskovic, Varela, Simms, Najar, Quaranta and King isn’t a half bad midfield rotation.

    How on earth would a team get both GBS and JPA, btw?


  • Tom in KY

    I agree with this as well. I don’t trust Warzycha. I haven’t been enthusiastic about the Crew’s future since Sigi left. The team has had a great run, winning two consecutive Supporter’s Shields and an MLS Cup, but I attribute that largely to Sigi, who built the team and installed the system. Now that it looks like Warzycha is going to be in full control, I have to admit that I’m extremely worried about the direction the team is taking…


  • Brian


    Well two more (Carroll and Brunner) are gone from this possible starting lineup. Now what?


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