[MLS]Columbus Crew fans can rest easier. Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who earned both league and MLS Cup MVP honors in 2008 and led the Crew in scoring in 2009, will be back in 2010.
Schelotto, 36, will no longer be a Designated Player, meaning his maximum base salary can be no more than $335,000. No other terms of the deal were announced by the Crew, but it has been reported that the deal includes a team option for 2011.
For all his success in three seasons in Columbus, it looked for a while like Schelotto would be gone.
He was benched for the first game of the playoffs against Real Salt Lake, and the Crew, winner of the Supporters' Shield, was knocked out in the conference semifinals.
"It was a long process, but we're very happy to be able to re-sign Guillermo for this season," said Crew coachRobert Warzycha. "He's obviously been a very good player for this team and I'm glad we got him signed in time for the start of preseason camp."
Schelotto's 19 assists in the 2008 season were the most for an individual in MLS since the 2002 season when Steve Ralston also totaled 19.
Schelotto totaled six assists in four playoff matches -- he had assists on all three goals in the 3-1 win over New York at MLS Cup '09 -- and tied an MLS record for most assists in a single postseason.
In 2009, Schelotto's exploits helped lead the Crew to a second consecutive MLS Supporters' Shield and into the quarterfinals of the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.
Schelotto joined the Crew in 2007 from storied Argentine club Boca Juniors.