Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11/18/09: Schelotto Likely Gone? What On God's Green Earth Are The Crew Doing?



I had a feeling that when Schelotto came over to the Nordecke for the first time in the two years of it's existence that it would be his last. It felt like a fairwell, as he waved at us on the way to the tunnel and gave a final bow. That seems especially the case now, according to today's Columbus Dispatch story. As the Crew dropped their highest goal scorer's salary by 65% percent in their 2010 contract offer and figured that their best player would be okay with it. Umm, figuring that GBS was and is your best player and you already benched him in a playoff game, wouldn't you maybe want to play this one with some kid gloves? Yet, this is starting to look like an ever going offseason saga, as the Crew front office looks to offend any world-class coach or player that comes into this organization. My conclusion from all of this is that it appears the Crew are inept at negotiating with anyone world-class at this club.

Look at last year, Sigi Schmid at one point wanted to stay with the club but the Crew botched that giving him a ridicoulous salary until it was too late.

Now Guillermo Barros Schelotto wants to stay with the club, but they cut his salary 65% percent, even though he was the team's leading scorer with 12 goals (3rd highest in all of MLS).

The Sigi move might have cost the Crew another cup, as no way Sigi Schmid leaves GBS out of a playoff game. The next move might make it unnecessary for the Crew to even show up to their games in March against Toluca in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Of course, Guillermo has a right to be mad. GBS said the following to the Dispatch:
"Maybe I am a little -- not angry -- but surprised," Schelotto said. "Maybe I will analyze this offer from Columbus when I get cool."

Maybe he will analyze the offer. My thinking is the damage is done. World-class players and coaches have ego's, heck any player does, and when they are lowballed they're going to look for other offers. And, someone, somewhere will offer more than $227,000 dollars for a midfielder that has nearly 20 goals and over 20 assists and was a MVP in the last two seasons; doesn't matter if that league is MLS.

The point is that no one world-class is staying in Columbus for $200,000 dollars when they can jet off to Seattle for more money or jet off to a South American club and be a hero again.

So, sure, the Crew Front Office did an excellent job in building the team that won it all in 2008. But, they seem to be doing an equally impressive job of tearing it all down. First, the coach. Now, the team's best player BY FAR! Hmm..

I get dropping down Guillermo's salary a little, hell even Guillermo would understand that for his second half of the year. But, 65% PERCENT! ROFL!

Crew General Manager Mark McCullers seems a little aloof on how ridicoulous the offer was:
"Guillermo has said he wants to stay here, and we've said we want him to stay here," McCullers said. "When you've got two willing parties that have the same goal, that's a pretty good thing."

Yeah but one willing party is offended and is now looking for more willing parties that are likely going to best the Crew's offer...

I mean sure I would love for GBS to sign for $227,000 dollars, that would leave us more cap space to sign more players that could make us a legitimate contender for winning CONCACAF. Especially because if you saw the two games against Cruz Azul, our current roster doesn't have a chance in hell. And, well, maybe McCullers knows this and maybe Mark McCullers can convince Guillermo to go along with it for the allocades.

But, I still don't think that GBS will go along for $227,000. Sure, Guillermo is probably not still worth $650,000. But, he is at least worth $350,000. I'm not totally against what McCullers is attempting to do because that might mean the Crew will attempt to bring in another DP (possibly a striker) to supplement GBS. But, the Crew have to be careful how they tread, they could end up without Guillermo and if the Maciej Zurawski debacle taught us anything, without a replacement.

So, if everything goes bad with GBS, I just hope the Crew has some backup plan. Or a player or two that could keep us from falling into the cellar in 2010.

Also, why not just drop Guillermo's salary a little and make cuts in other places. Like drop Moreno's salary. And, maybe have Zayner take Hejduk's place. I love Hejduk but I think Zayner (who is closer to being a credible starter than Brunner in my opinion) could be a starter and a credible replacement. We have no credible replacement for Guillermo and I'm doubtful we will be able to find one that wants to come to Columbus.

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