The View from Our Crew

A Sigh of Relief

COLUMBUS, OH - January 19, 2010 - The Columbus Crew announced that it has re-signed Guillermo Barros Schelotto, keeping one of the most popular, prolific and decorated players in club history in Black & Gold for the 2010 season. Schelotto's fourth season with the Crew will be his 20th in professional soccer, continuing an extraordinary career in which he has been part of a remarkable 18 club championships.

Photo Credit: Carol Estrella/ISNSoccer.comSince joining the Crew in 2007 from storied Argentine club Boca Juniors, Schelotto has been one of the finest attacking players in the league, earning both league and MLS Cup MVP honors, along with two MLS Best XI selections, while accumulating 26 goals and 39 assists in 78 regular-season and playoff games.

"It was a long process, but we're very happy to be able to re-sign Guillermo for this season," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "He's obviously been a very good player for this team and I'm glad we got him signed in time for the start of preseason camp."

Schelotto will not occupy a Designated Player slot in 2010. Per club and league policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.

A native of La Plata, Argentina, the 36-year-old Schelotto was the Crew's 2009 Budweiser Golden Boot winner with 12 goals, a haul that included three multi-goal games and three game-winning goals. He was named MLS Player of the Week on June 15, MLS Player of the Month for June, and was an 2009 MLS All-Star First XI selection. Schelotto's exploits helped lead the Crew to a second consecutive MLS Supporters' Shield, with a 13-7-10 record (49 pts.), and into the quarterfinals of the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Schelotto's magical 2008 campaign helped guide the Crew to its finest season ever. He collected seven goals and 19 assists on his way to being named MLS MVP, leading the league in assists by a wide margin, as the Black & Gold won the Supporters' Shield with a 17-7-6 record and franchise-record 57 points. He set a new Crew record for assists in a season, which is also matched the second-most in a season in MLS history. Five of his assists led to game-winners and his extraordinary performances were recognized with four regular-season MLS Player of the Week selections and MLS Player of the Month honors for August. His 19 assists in the 2008 season were the most for an individual in MLS since the 2002 season when Steve Ralston also totaled 19.

Schelotto remained a difference maker in the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs, as he helped lead the Crew to it's first-ever MLS Cup championship, totaling three assists in the title match, a 3-1 victory over New York, and earning MVP honors for the match. In all, Schelotto totaled six assists in four matches for the Crew during the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs, tying him for the MLS record for most assists in a single postseason.

A Cardinal for the Crew

Othaniel believes he can add depth to the squad and contribute when called upon, while learning as much as possible. He is adjusting to the speed of play and is becoming more comfortable with the system utilized by the Crew. Yanez saw his first action as a pro in a preseason match against the U.S. U-17 National Team. He came away impressed with the future stars of American soccer, even though the Crew clearly dominated the U-17s."The subs played as well as the starters," Yanez stated. "They were a strong team, very deep."

Draft day was a day of uncertainty for University of Louisville midfielder Othaniel Yanez. He wasn't sure he would be drafted; he would have hours to think about his future and any options he might have. The future came calling in a big way when the Columbus Crew drafted him in the fourth round (61st overall). Yanez understood how big an opportunity this would be; joining one of the elite clubs in Major League Soccer was something to be thankful for.

He is ready for this new journey in his life. "The University of Louisville prepared me well," Yanez commented. "They have a pretty good system [there]; they are doing it right." The next few weeks will be incredibly important for the young midfielder as the Crew make final decisions about their squad for the 2010 season.

Duka, Dike Headline Crew's Five Selections at 2010 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA - January 14, 2010 - The two-time defending MLS Supporters’ Shield-winning Columbus Crew today selected five players in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

The Crew began by utilizing its initial first-round selection (No. 8 overall) on Generation adidas midfielder Dilly Duka of Rutgers University. Moments later, the Black & Gold selected forward Bright Dike, a product of Notre Dame, with the second of its two first round picks (No. 12 overall). With the first of three fourth round picks, the Crew selected defender/midfielder Kwaku Nyamekye from Harvard Universtiy (No. 60 overall) and followed immediately with the selection of midfielder Othaniel Yanez from the University of Louisville (No. 61 overall). The Crew then rounded out its 2010 MLS SuperDraft with the selection of defender Shaun Francis (No. 63 overall), a product of Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.).

“I think it was a pretty successful draft for us,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “It was important to take a Generation adidas player with the first pick and I think Duka is a very good, creative player. Dike is a big guy who is a real handful and I’m very happy we were able to get him. I’m also really happy about the last three picks, because I thought they’d all be gone earlier. They give us some depth and I have a feeling they’re going give our guys some competition and fight for spots on the roster.”

Duka, a 20-year old native of Montville, N.J., appeared in 36 games, with 35 starts, during his two seasons at Rutgers, while recording 10 goals and five assists in that time and was selected to the All-Big East Second Team in 2008. Duka’s efforts earned him a call-up to the FIFA U-20 National Team camp in January 2009, and he made an immediate impression, scoring a goal and notching an assist in his first career international match against Jamaica on March 6, 2009. Duka continued to be a regular for the U.S. Under-20 squad throughout 2009 and in August he was named to the U.S. squad for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Although the U.S. failed to advance past the group stage of the competition, Duka played well, making three appearances, with two starts, while registering one goal, in a 4-1 victory over Cameroon on Sept. 29.

Due to his success in the U-20 World Cup, Duka made the decision to depart Rutgers prior to his junior season and instead decided to pursue opportunities overseas with offers from clubs in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Denmark. However, Duka instead decided to sign a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer in November. As a Generation adidas signee, Duka’s contract will not count against the Crew’s salary cap.

“Today means everything to me,” said Duka. “It shows that a lot of hard work paid off and I’m really happy to be going to Columbus. It’s a great team, a great program, I hope to learn a lot and I’m really excited and I think it’s going to be a great experience."

Dike, a 22-year old native of Edmond, Okla., appeared in 86 games, with 38 starts in his four seasons at Notre Dame, while recording 27 goals and eight assists in that time. Dike picked up a number of accolades in his senior season with the Fighting Irish, included selections to the 2009 All-Big East first team, 2009 All-Great Lakes Region first team and the All-Big East Championship team after leading both his squad and the Big East in goals (12) and points (29). In addition, Dike was also selected twice to the Big East weekly honor roll in 2009 (Sept. 29 and Oct. 13). 

"I'm just thanking God and all of my coaches who helped me get to this point," Dike said. "I've been waiting for this moment my whole life and it feels amazing. I couldn't be more excited." 

Nyamekye, a 22-year old native of Geneva, Switzerland, appeared in 73 games, with 71 starts, while totaling 11 goals and six assists in his four-year career at Harvard. He was a three-time NSCAA All-Northeast Region selection and was voted to the All-Ivy League squad all four seasons of his career. Prior to his career with the Crimson, Nyamekye attended the International School of Geneva and was invited to play in the European International Schools Championship in 2004 and 2005, earning all-star status in 2005. 

Yanez, a 22-year old native of Moreno Valley, Calif., appeared in 66 matches, with 63 starts, and tallied five goals and four assists in his four seasons at Louisville. Yanez was the Cardinals’ team MVP in two of his four seasons on the squad, and was also named to the 2009 All-Big East Tournament team as a senior and the 2007 All-Big East third team in his sophomore season. 

Francis, a 23 year-old native of Mandeville, Jamaica, made 61 appearances, while scoring seven goals and nine assists in his three-year career at Lindsey Wilson.

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