- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 16, 2010
- 3 Comments
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto
It appears a whole new Columbus Crew will step out on the field in 2011. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting this morning that the club is taking a giant step in going younger by declining the option on the Argentine midfielder and team leader Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He was told he would not be among the 11 players protected in this month’s expansion draft (I’ve updated my Crew draft list to reflect this).
“Today the coach (Robert Warzycha) told me he wanted to make the team young,” Schelotto said last night. “They have made the decision.”
“I want to stay here in Columbus,” Schelotto said. “But if they want to make a new team with younger players, I respect the decision.
“I will miss the fans because every game I played in Columbus Crew Stadium was wonderful. The fans made me feel like I was playing at Gimnasia or Boca (Juniors). In the stadium, in the streets, the people here give me everything I need. I will never forget them.”
Schelotto will likely be the prize “free agent” in the upcoming re-entry draft that will be held later this year. That is if Portland or Vancouver don’t select him first in the expansion draft. But considering his high salary (somewhere in the $650,000 range) its probably more likely he ends up going elsewhere in the re-entry draft if he goes anywhere else in MLS.
It is possible the Crew could reclaim Schelotto then, although it would be last in line in the draft order. The Crew could also trade him.
The Crew also declined options on other veteran players including captain Frankie Hejduk, midfielder Duncan Oughton and defender Gino Padula. Its apparent the Crew needed to get younger this past season and it seems that is the direction the team is taking into 2011. They know they probably slipped up in last year’s SuperDraft too so I wouldn’t be shocked to see them take this winter very serious.
Its hard to imagine the Crew right now without guys like Schelotto and Hejduk but you had to believe at some point this was bound to happen. The Crew did need to get younger and sometimes drastic measures have to take place. Either way I kind of figure 2011 could be a long year in Columbus unless they find some way to get Schelotto back at a discounted rate.