2008 MVP Guillermo
, the key to Columbus' MLS title win, will be returning to Columbus, which has elevated the Argentine to Designated Player status. That enables it to pay him a reported
salary of $650,000, nearly twice as much as his 2008 earnings. For a history of MLS's DPs ...
Schelotto, 35, led the league in regular-season assists with 19 and also scored seven
regular-season goals. He assisted on all three goals in the Columbus Crew's 3-1 over New York in MLS Cup 2008 and was the game's MVP.
Schelotto joined the Crew in 2007 after 11 years
with Argentine power Boca Juniors, with which he won 15 titles, including six league and three Copa Libertadores crowns.
He earned $150,000 in his first MLS season in 2007. He will
enter the 2009 season with Designated Player status, which enables the Crew to pay him above the maximum salary and means that only the first $400,000 of his pay counts against the team's salary
The Designated Player Rule, once informally dubbed the "Beckham Rule" because it allowed the Los Angeles Galaxy to sign the British superstar, was created in 2007. Here's a
list of the previous DPs: JUAN PABLO ANGEL (Colombia) New York (2007-08)
Scored 34 goals in 47 regular season games. CUAUHTEMOC BLANCO
(Mexico) Chicago (2007-08)
Best crowd draw besides Beckham in last two seasons. 11 goals, 18 assists in 41 regular-season games. DAVID BECKHAM (England) Los
Sold more than 300,000 Galaxy jerseys. 10 assists in 2008. LUCIANO EMILIO (Brazil) D.C. United (2008)
Upgraded to DP after
scoring 20 league goals in first season. Led team with 18 goals (41 games) in all competitions in 2008. CLAUDIO LOPEZ (Argentina) Kansas City (2008)
well after suffering from fatigue while playing several positions. In 28 games: six goals, seven assists. CLAUDIO REYNA (USA) New York (2007-08)
games in 2007. Retired in midseason 2008 after playing just six more games.
MARCELO GALLARDO (Argentina) D.C. United (2008)
Limited by injuries to 15 games. Scored four
goals. Helped D.C. United win U.S. Open Cup.
DENILSON (Brazil) FC Dallas (2007)
Played just eight games (1 goal).