The MVP speaks

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

To no one's surprise, the Columbus Crew's Guillermo Barros Schelotto won the Volkswagen MVP Award today. Not bad for a guy who couldn't make the MLS All-Star team.

Schelotto's selection was one of the worst-kept secrets in history. There weren't really any other viable candidates, and those who came closest — Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales, for instance — weren't among the other finalists. As good as Landon Donovan was this year, his Galaxy didn't make the playoffs. And Cuauhtemoc Blanco faded for large portions of Chicago's season. So there really wasn't much question who would be honored this afternoon. Still, whatever minor suspense remained was vanquished when VW prematurely ran an ad in this week's Sports Illustrated congratulating the soon-to-be MVP.

The Crew field general accepted his award on ESPNews, then came to the Hyatt to talk to reporters about it. The big golden thing might be bigger than the Eastern Conference trophy the Crew won last week. Quite the impressive chunk of hardware.

A few interesting tidbits from the MVP's press conference:

•Schelotto reasserted what he told The Dispatch: He wants to play another year in Columbus, maybe even two. (He likes the capital city's tranquility and security. Also, he reiterated his love for Easton. The main loves Easton.)

•He plans to start talking contract stuff with the Crew in the first week of December. Schelotto said he has had some brief conversations with Crew management, but they haven't had any sit-downs to this point.

•When asked whether he would be willing to take a pay cut to keep this year's Crew together, he flashed a goofy facial expression that implied "I had better not talk about this, but you can bet I'm not looking forward to taking a pay cut."

•Schelotto talked a little bit about ways he had to adjust to the American game after years with Argentine power Boca Juniors. For one thing, he was used to playing zone defense instead of man-to-man. He also seemed to say that he didn't have to be 100 percent fit to play down there, whereas here he has to run more.

More from me as gameday approaches.