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Donovan, Schelotto and Gomez

*MLS and Bayern Munich have struck a deal for Landon Donovan to join the Bundesliga club on loan this winter.


*Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been named MLS's most valuable player, finishing well ahead of Donovan and Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the voting of coaches, general managers, players and media members. Schelotto received 54 percent, Donovan 19 and Blanco 3. The balance went to other candidates before the finalists were named. (For the list of previous MVPs, check the continuation of this thread.)

Of greater importance than the trophy, however, is Schelotto's situation next season. The Insider was told this morning that the Crew has the option on a $650,000 salary in 2009, a figure that would make the Argentine midfielder/forward a designated player. Columbus, I hear, is apparently reluctant to commit to DP money and might try to negotiate a lower figure. His base this year was $250,000, but he was guaranteed $375K and presumably will pick up a nice MVP bonus as well. The Crew is already preparing to shell out the cash to retain coach of the year Sigi Schmid, who would prefer to be working on the West Coast.

So say you are Schelotto. You have led the league in assists. You have just won the MVP award. You have guided your team to MLS Cup for the first time. And you will still make considerably less money than compatriots Marcelo Gallardo and Claudio Lopez? Hmmm.


*No surprise: Colorado is trying to move Christian Gomez and dump his 2009 guaranteed contract of around $400,000. Gomez barely played the final few months of the season under then-interim coach Gary Smith, who clearly doesn't think much of the 2006 MVP. My hunch is that, if they find a suitor, the Rapids will have to continue paying a portion of his salary next year. Colorado already re-signed Pablo Mastroeni to a new deal that approaches designated player range.


2007: Luciano Emilio - D.C. United
2006: Christian Gomez - D.C. United
2005: Taylor Twellman - New England Revolution
2004: Amado Guevara - MetroStars
2003: Preki - Kansas City Wizards
2002: Carlos Ruiz - Los Angeles Galaxy
2001: Alex Pineda Chacon - Miami Fusion
2000: Tony Meola - Kansas City Wizards
1999: Jason Kreis - Dallas Burn
1998: Marco Etcheverry - D.C. United
1997: Preki - Kansas City Wizards
1996: Carlos Valderrama - Tampa Bay Mutiny

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 12:59 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Brazil 6, Portugal 2


Some in DC will clamor for bringing Gomez back. Maybe DC United's managment was correct in letting him go when they did-a pretty steep downward slide ensued.

But what if anything can United do to reduce their reliance on Gallardo? Additional surgeries make it possible he won't return to form or the field.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | November 20, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The only news left I need to hear about MLS now is that Obama is delivering the executive order for VW Arena on the shores of the Anacostia in Poplar Point!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 20, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I remember there was an article out (el grafico or some other magazine) where Guillermo said he wanted to finish up his playing days in the US, then move back to Argentina to coach Boca. I don't really see anything stopping him from being Boca's coach in the future (guaranteed $$$), so I see him being disappointed, but I dont see him leaving over money.

If they win the cup, Columbus shouldn't jump to give the DP money either. Look at a Emilio, DC did him a favor and he was a total waste of $$$ this season

Posted by: Springfie1d | November 20, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Schelotto have some sort of contract issue last year? I don't know/recall the specifics on that, but if Columbus lowballs him would his perception for him be "screw you guys, I'm going home"?

Posted by: Section117 | November 20, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse


VW ARENA...nice ring to it...we should have a retractable roof..sigh..

The only thing that would not work with Gomez if they decide to bring him back would be the players changing style of play..they did it with gallardo and struggled..and not they are adapt with new roles. Now bring back Gomez..with his one person attack..then the players will struggle.
and isnt Gomez getting old is he? 33..34?
Schelloto should get back at Boca and join the coaching squad...he will be an amazing coach..

And thats so much money on an injured player who had little impact all year...
I just dont get it..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 20, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the Crew should not put the DP on Mr. MVP. I don't know what's wrong with Gomez, but I hope DC United doesn't bring him back. That's just going to be more $$ wasted on sub-par Argetine players.

It still sickens me to see NYRB in the finals this year.

Posted by: hardcoco | November 20, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Please dont bring back Gomez. That ship sailed when he wanted 3 years not 2.

Good for Donovan.

Schelotto deserves to be paid.

Posted by: strago | November 20, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little nervous about this Donovan thing. I hope he can continue the run of form he has been showing on the national team. As long as he's getting minutes at Bayern, I think that should happen. But I'm not sure he's going to get minutes. Jurgen is quoted as saying "fourth" striker. You're not seeing many minutes on the field when you're the fourth option.

Posted by: Matte | November 20, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Lanndycakes may not see a ton of time (compared with his time with LA), but even in training he is improving. I would rather have the entire national team training with Bayern, Real Madrid, Chelsea, AC Milan, et al, all the time than playing in Norway' second division or MLS. Donovan will be a better player after he is done with Bayern than before he arrived even if he sees limited minutes.

Posted by: therealfootball | November 20, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Betcha Gomito winds up in DC...or just maybe in NJ...with the Rapids eating a bunch of his salary. Does that apply against their cap? I assume it does...

Payne will meet with him -- they'll mend fences, and agree on a training program to finally get him in shape.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd think you'd be crazy to not consider signing a player (Gomez)who is 2 years out from MVP status . . .particularly if he's not getting DP money and you can afford him.

Colorado didn't work out, time for a change . .

Posted by: delantero | November 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Landon could find some minutes with Bayern progressing in the German Cup and (most likely) to the knockout round of the Champs League. But... the German League has a winter break that will keep their players fresh in January. He won't even get a chance to appear till their Cup match on Jan. 27

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It would be a huge loss for the league if Schelotto went back to Argentina because of a contract dispute.

It would be pretty cool to go from having zero Americans on Champions League rosters for the group stage to having Landon and Jozy on rosters for the knockout stage.

Posted by: la2stl | November 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, DC should MOST DEFINATELY bring Gomez back. He would add to your high priced; under performing list of players.

No one in MLS is going to touch him because no one, including folks in Colorado, can figure out what happened to him. He sure is never going to play under the new coach. You would think that he would be demanding a move somewhere where he might actually play. Very weird situation.

Good for Donovan. Hopefully he learns how to play 90 minutes and learns how to play hard nosed soccer. The US will need him if we are going to have any chance in South Africa.

Posted by: hacksaw | November 20, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Christian Gomez tiene un posse, and I'm in it. Wine for my men, we ride at dawn.

Posted by: EdTheRed | November 20, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

About Emilio, he didn't perform up to his new salary, but I wouldn't say it was a total waste of money.

Do hope Schelotto gets paid.

Boy, does that 2004 MVP look sillier and sillier every year or what?

I think Gomez is definitely worth a look-see from the DCU front office. After all, we got Jaime back from the swamp after he went there and did close to nothing...

As far as LD, who cares. Besides the beer guy at RFK who would have sold me two extra beers to fuel my "cheering" if LD were on the opposing team, that is. So he goes to Germany...again. I think it won't work out...again.

Posted by: CDRHoek | November 20, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Kathy Orton is creeping on your human interest material.

Good luck to Landycakes. I'm sure he'll fit right in as a fourth choice striker, but there's always a chance he manages to make an impression and get some real minutes. And Bayern will be eager to try some fresh blood as they try to push back to the top of the table.

Pay Bill Schelotto. Lose Sigi if you gotta.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | November 20, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@delantero - Would you have signed Alex Pineda Chacon in 2003, Preki in 2005 or Amado Guevara in 2006? (Two years after they last won the MVP award).

It's an intriguing prospect at getting Gomez back (to DCU). Would you do it for 200K/200K split between the 2 teams? 100K/300K (CR/DCU)? I think 200K would be the max I'd go for him unless other players could be dumped - he'd be great as a reserve/occasional starter. But doesn't Jaime already play that position?

I'm torn by what I remember and what I hope to see again...

Posted by: LookingDangerous | November 20, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Schelloto deserves to be paid DP money. If Columbus doesn't do it, I'm sure we (the Galaxy) can get something done. Pay him 400k and then allocation money to bring him up to 600k for next season. If Beckham leaves after 2009 then we can sign Schelotto as DP for 2010.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | November 20, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Bringing back Gomez seems like low-hanging fruit to me.

1) we can afford him, esp. if Colorado is willing to pay half or more of his salary

2) both Gomez and DCU have to be chastened about how things worked out this year. It's time for both sides to swallow some pride, admit they screwed up, and kiss and make up.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | November 20, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"It would be pretty cool to go from having zero Americans on Champions League rosters for the group stage to having Landon and Jozy on rosters for the knockout stage."

So once the next CL stage begins, the surviving teams can resubmit updated/changed rosters, right? They don't have to continue with the rosters they set at the beginning, right? I'm asking 'cuz I literally dunno.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 20, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe United is going to bring Gomez back at a high salary. That's the only theory I have as to why season ticket prices went up so high. Cause it certainly wasn't the level of play.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | November 20, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Peter Nowak win MVP in 1998?

Posted by: EricB1 | November 20, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

So once the next CL stage begins, the surviving teams can resubmit updated/changed rosters, right? They don't have to continue with the rosters they set at the beginning, right? I'm asking 'cuz I literally dunno.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 20, 2008 4:33 PM

Yeah, if a club buys someone in the January window and they haven't played in the Champs League (or UEFA Cup?) that season - they can play in the last 16. That's off the top of my head though.

I don't know if I foresee Landon playing in the Champs League though, barring other injured strikers.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Peter Nowak win MVP in 1998?

Posted by: EricB1 | November 20, 2008 4:49 PM

Cup Final MVP?

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Not putting the DP on Schelotto?

Send him to NY, we'll do it. Enjoy the Schelotto-to-Angel show next season.

Posted by: Eugene7 | November 20, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't take much to get the Christian Lovers back in full force.
You guys are crazy to think he'd be coming back here.
He'd probably rather hang himself before he does that...
Maybe Seattle will try to grab him. If anything New York wouldn't surprise me.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse


Nowak was a Cup final MVP, not a league MVP. For those hoping DC brings back Gomez, 1) it really doesn't make much sense as long as Gallardo is still there, and 2) I'm not sure he would even want to come back. Wasn't there some bridge burning on both sides?

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | November 20, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

On Gomez: We're doing this again? Seriously?

If Colorado is willing to eat all but $100K of his salary, AND the cap expands by enough to pay that $100K plus another senior roster player, AND DC has a clear fitness plan for Gomez, then I would be willing to consider the deal. However, this team needs to concentrate on the area that really struggled (defense), not the area that did pretty well when everyone was fit (offense).


Schelotto deserves the award. I'd love to see where the other 23% went (I'm assuming there are at least 2 players that got more votes than Blanco, who didn't deserve to even be in the conversation for the award, much less formally announced as a nominee).

Schelotto contract:

I actually believe Columbus needs Schmid more than Schelotto. With Pat Noonan available, they can switch to a 442 with Noonan playing off Moreno and not lose too much. They won't be the offensive power they were this year, but it would be far from a debacle. Meanwhile, Schmid has successfully transitioned O'Rourke to center back (something I believed would be an utter disaster), gotten great seasons out of unknowns like Moffat (pre-injury) and Evans (post-Moffat injury) and got more out of Carroll and Gaven than was expected in most quarters. I believe the drop off for the Crew without Schmid would be worse than if they lost Schelotto, as bizarre as that might seem.

Donovan to Bayern:

Donovan can also play on the wing in Bayern's system, which could give him a few more looks in. I hope he succeeds, or at least doesn't fail because he couldn't take the pressure. If he finds himself watching games from the stands, let it be because the other Bayern players were simply better on the field, and not because they're more mature.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 20, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

No way Gomez returns to DC. Will not happen.

If Crew do not give Schelotto DP money, he is gone back to Argentina a tear early.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 20, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

a *year* early

Posted by: Ron16 | November 20, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

schelotto: definitely the league MVP, definitely worth DP money.

sigi: great coach; not sure what he wants but most-likely worth it.

gomez: PLEASE DON'T COME BACK TO DC!!! dc united needs to revamp top-to-bottom (get rid of soehn!), not reload has-beens.

donovan: if podolski doesn't get time at forward, i don't see how he is going to. his only hope is relationship with klinsmann. of course, if he keeps the fire he showed in mls this season *anything* is possible. he definitely has the talent, its his heart and head i wonder about.

Posted by: dfunkt | November 20, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I would not be suprised to see Gomez go to Chivas USA.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 20, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

If Colorado eats most of Gomez' salary and he follows through on a fitness plan and actually wants to come back to DC, I would be disappointed if we did not sign him. The age issue does not bother me - GBS is 36 and just won MVP. The heart issue is what matters.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 20, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Correction: GBS is 35, but still.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 20, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes -- but you just have to look at Schelotto to realize he's in incredible shape. Gomito needs to drop 10 or 15 pounds.

As for those who think he wouldn't want to come back...I bet you're wrong.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Wanna bet Fischy?
I got five on it...INflation outdates this more than anything...
Watchya know bout Shock G...Fischy?:-)

I don't think Christian would have any place on the bench or the field with Gallardo, and Emilio in the mix... Unless he dropped like you said 20 pounds, and we got rid of Fred..

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Re Gomez: I enjoy watching the sentimentalists remember his "golden"year, but was he not a BIG drop off in 2005 already? More seriously, how can anyone compare a Gomez (2nd div.Arg.)with playmakers from River and Boca? Gomez was/is a journeyman who overperformed here briefly,got his $$$ but could not play in ARG unlike,say,Juan Veron.
Re LD: The German media reports that Klinsmann and Munich reporters are excited b/c LD has way more speed (and adequate skills for BM) than the other strikers.Klinsi says it would allow BM to have "another dimension". On the other hand, BM like other superclubs tend to overstock on strikers and only so many can play.In MF opposite Schweinsteiger,maybe? But even he does not start for BM,only for the German NT. Most importantly: by going to BM,LD is not surfing or baby-sitting.He is on the plane for Dubai on Jan.2 and will stay with the club through March at least.That's "win-win,as they say. Coach Peter.

Posted by: bechtoldpk | November 22, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

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