Crew Insist Schelotto Stays

One of the more interesting stories during the MLS offseason thus far has been the plight of Argentina's Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The Columbus Crew midfielder, who will turn 35 in May, quickly became a fan favorite in Ohio's capital. He lead the team's charge back to mediocrity with five goals and 11 assists in 22 games, lifting the club to challenge for a playoff spot until the last week's of the regular season.
Then, things turned ugly. Reports from Argentina linked Schelotto with a return to his native country. He was even quoted as telling a local television station that he would like to return to play for his hometown team of Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata (currently in a relegation battle), but the "only problem is this contract with MLS. I don't have anything to talk about with Gimnasia, as we could seal an agremeent fast. I am going to try to break the relationship now, as in June, I would have the same problem."

Apparently, GBS has had a change of mind over the past few weeks, at least in the eyes of Crew head coach Sigi Schmid, as Allen Hopkins reported on his 'Hot Stove' segment for ESPN SoccerNet.

"I talked to Guillermo a couple of days ago and he will get his P-1 visa stamped in Argentina on Jan. 21 or 22 and his itinerary for his return to Columbus is all set," Schmid said. "It was much easier for us to play 'bad cop' for Guillermo because of all the pressure on him to help his hometown club. Everyone is telling him he's the club's savior and he wants to help because that's the type of pro, type of person he is, just a great guy. It's all fine with me because that's part of the game you have to play sometimes."

No comments: