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Schelotto and Red Bulls News

The latest on the Guillermo Barros Schelotto saga:

From what I have been told by those familiar with the delicate situation, Schelotto enjoys living and playing in Columbus and wants to return to the Crew this season.


He believes he was misled about the terms of the contract that he signed last year and was under the impression he would become a free agent after the 2007 season. According to the fine print, he is not. If, at the time of the signing, he had been aware of the option held by the Crew for this coming season, he probably would not have joined MLS. There are other smaller issues, I'm told, but that is the big one.

He is not upset with the Crew. Rather, he feels an intermediary who handled his acquisition on behalf of MLS misled him. Both Columbus and Schelotto's representatives are attempting to remedy the situation.

So will he return to the Crew this season? One source tells me it is 50-50.

*In addition to Chris Armas and Richie Williams, the Red Bulls are considering Alfonso Mondelo and Omid Namazi for their top assistant coaching job. Mondelo, who coached New York in 1998, currently works with MLS as a technical director. Namazi coaches the MISL expansion New Jersey Ironmen. Both have apparently spoken with new coach Juan Carlos Osorio about the job.

By Steve Goff  |  January 8, 2008; 11:19 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS and Todd Durbin always write the contracts 100% in MLS' favor so you have to be sharp and hard-nosed in dealing with them. Why do you think so many players try to leave when they are out of contract?

Posted by: tex | January 8, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

As someone at work pointed out, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. I can't fault MLS for being having strong player contracts.

In line with the other thread on Eddie Pope its going to be interesting to see what happens after the 09 season when the CBA will be re-negotiated.

I truly hope that both parties come to the table with a degree of open mindedness and a realistic set of expectations.

This is probably the biggest dark cloud in an otherwise bright forecast for MLS.

Posted by: Nick from Big Soccer | January 8, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with tex.

The problem with going to a different league in a different country is that you are probably not very familiar with parameters at work. It is possible that the intermediary did not intend to mislead Schelotto but that he and his people didn't understand the terms. Even though the intermediary is familiar with MLS, it is very possible that the intermediary overlooked the detail himself. Keep in mind that bringing a player of this high profile to MLS, DP signings are still in thier infancy. The intermediary also could have been on a learning curve and misunderstood the terms himself. The devil is in the details. It is an unfortunate situation that will be rectified one way or another.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 8, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Bring Guille to DC. I'm sure we'd have enough milanesas for him to feed on. He brings an sense of class to any midfield.

Posted by: bristol | January 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

guille is not acting with class in this situation. this "i didn't read the fine print" spin, coming after he dissed his teammates and all but promised to join another team in Argentina, rings a bit hollow, doesn't it?

wasn't it reported widely that the Crew held an option for another year? I'd have to look that up, because I can't recall specifically.

Posted by: furia yanqui | January 8, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

ok, two interesting things here: first off, he had an MLS guy negotiate his contract? Who allows their boss to pick their agent? That's foolish. Second off, the 'intermediary' missed an option year? This is professional sport, options aren't exactly exotic contract terms! If MLS is picking these people, they need to do a much better job, and people like Scholleto need to have their own reps negotiating on their behalf. Letting MLS handle it smacks of entitlement on his part 'they need me more than I need them, I it will be good for me' sad. Reminds me of the Lavar Arrington/Skins dispute.

Posted by: northzax | January 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

So Schelotto thought he was just going to come play for 20 games and that is all the interest MLS had in him. These guys have agents, who are supposed to negotiate and read contracts. I guess I just can't see how any player would think that a team would just sign them to a 6 month contract and say "OK, you are a free agent now".

Posted by: I don't buy it | January 8, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

This locura that Mellizo finds himself in is totally believable, from an Argentina perspective. The league is structured so differently, that typically outsiders don't understand MLS. League held options are completely unheard of coming from Boca Jrs, much less league held contracts. I have no idea who is agent was, or who reviewed the contract, but if it was someone from here (meaning Buenos Aires), they dropped the ball and probably didn't get the whole league-held-option idea.

Keep in mind that Denilson came for fewer games than Melli, and he is gone now....

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Are options common in other countries?

I hope Schelotto stays -- he's the type of discovery that really brings credit to the league.

Posted by: RK | January 8, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

He's weaseling out...

Posted by: Ron | January 8, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Below are at least 2 links that were written at the time he signed that both indicated that Columbus had an option or a had signed him for two years. He is being totally disingenuous. Any player of his stature knows what the contract says. There's no "small print". He just wants to go back and is trying to whine his way out. into

Posted by: Timoteo | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

northzax, Guille should have had his people review the contract.There was some confusion about the option. You are right about the intermediary should have picked up on the option or explained it better but that is what agents are really for. Your point about LA and the Redskins is a good one. Lavar's agent should have done a better job.

The intermediary thing doesn't seem to be so uncommon in soccer these days. Wasn't it reported that Simon Fuller helped LA out with getting Gullit (of course with Beckham in the mix)? In this case, I put more of the burden on the player and the agent than the intermediary.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse says:
D.C. United Snap Up Tiny Argentine Niell

Then again, they jumped the gun on Veron

Posted by: Dominic | January 8, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Timoteo, thanks for the link and the legwork. It was reported at the time.

I admit to being biased and giving the intermediary the benefit of the doubt the whole time because I take him to be an honest guy and have personally never heard of him being "shady", just very ambitious.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 8, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Lost in BA-

Denilson is gone because he signed a contract for just the remainder of the 2007 season, with a league-held option for 2008. Dallas was (obviously) disappointed with his output, so they declined to pick up that option. There were minor rumblings of them re-signing him at a lower price, but that faded out.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | January 8, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

in re: Denilson, that was my point - there was an option, but the contract was for 6 months and then if he didn't perform he was a free agent. He didn't perform, so he is now being shopped to River (God I hope they don't sign him). My point was "I don't buy it" stipulated what player would think they were signed for 6 months, and I presented Denilson as an example. Granted there existed an option, but it was a league held option.

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 8, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Might this also be Schelotto's attempt to appease fans in Argentina...if he does not go back, despite stating his plan to do so in the press, he can claim that the gringos screwed him with a deceptive contract and he regretfully cannot return.

I am sure he would rather make 1million+ US dollars than get paid in pesos.

If he, or his people, did not hire a local (i.e. U.S.) lawyer he is a dumbass. In the argentine, we would say "jodete!" Whenever contracting overseas, you should hire a local lawyer, be it Spain, England, or the U.S. That is the only way to ensure your contract is legal and squared away.

¡Me estafaron!

¡Me engañaron!


Posted by: Erick | January 8, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Timoteo, above, when he writes:
"He is being totally disingenuous. Any player of his stature knows what the contract says. There's no "small print". He just wants to go back and is trying to whine his way out."

I hope he ends up staying, however. His skill is good to have in the league.

Posted by: David | January 8, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Everton are playing Chelsea in the Semi Final of the Carling Cup. I coughed up 15 bucks for a month of Setanta broadband to watch this. Hopefully my Toffees can get a result. Halftime

Posted by: Garret | January 8, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks -- didn't know there was a real game on today. But free online is a lot cheaper, although my Chinese isn't that great :)

Posted by: RK | January 8, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This game is intense.

Posted by: Garret | January 8, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

If Guille were so happy in Columbus, he wouldn't be so desperate to play for Gimnasia, right? In fact, wouldn't he probably be trying to leverage his good season into another year or two of guaranteed money from Columbus? We already know he belittled the league in his interview with La Ultima Palabra, which also doesn't seem like talk from a man who's so content. It seems to me that its possible the source used here doesn't have a completely accurate guage on what Guille's true feelings are.

Posted by: Nick | January 8, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

If Guille is being "disingenuous" perhaps it is due to the fact that he wants to renegotiate his contract (a la Emilio with DCU). Reasonable minds may differ but a lot of folks consider Guille the only DP-caliber player in the league not receiving DP money... would be a shame if Columbus lost him because they weren't willing to go back to the table to talk about compensation.

Posted by: Mickey | January 8, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if he is being dishonest, I think he is just using the South American version of stalling for a new contract. It's not that uncommon to do it this way there where contracts are virtually meaningless.

If C-bus upped his salary $250K I'm sure the rumblings would vanish.

I hope he does stay, he is an exciting and skilled player that the league benefits greatly from.

Posted by: papa bear | January 8, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Soo...this just in....Esky to Chivas?

Posted by: CJ | January 9, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Good find...I googled and got this:

Also says that Esky has signed a new MLS deal -- didn't know that the Liege trial went nowhere (no surprise though).

Posted by: RK | January 9, 2008 2:18 AM | Report abuse

I am sure he would rather make 1million+ US dollars than get paid in pesos.

You checked the dollar on the international markets lately? That's not a given.

Posted by: stuck in 200 | January 9, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

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