On April 19, 2007, 13 years ago from today, Columbus Crew SC signed arguably the club’s most impactful player. Guillermo Barros Schelotto, an Argentine attacking midfielder from the famed Buenos Aires club, Boca Juniors. Schelotto went on to become one of the most successful players in Black & Gold history and was instrumental in bringing the city it’s first-ever MLS Cup in 2008.
Already a club legend at Boca Juniors, Schelotto left in search of new opportunities in 2007 and landed in Columbus. Schelotto’s tenure with the Crew stretched until 2010, where he featured as the most prominent member of one of the most successful periods in club history. Known for his deft first touch and freakish passing ability, Schelotto led the Black & Gold to the 2008 and 2009 MLS Supporters’ Shield and 2008 MLS Cup championship. In his 109 appearances for the club, Schelottos amassed 35 Goals and 48 assists in MLS competition. Schelotto was often recognized individually as well, best exemplified by his MLS Best XI Selections in 2007 and 2008, along with three MLS All-Star selections, his league Most Valuable Player and MLS Cup MVP in 2008.
In his four seasons in MLS, Schelotto set career highs in goals with 12 in 2009 and assists with 19 in 2008, which remains tied for fourth in a single-season in league history.
Schelotto’s reign in Columbus came to an end following the 2010 season when he opted to return to his hometown club, Gimnasia y Esgrima de Plata to finish his career.
Once his playing days were over, “GBS,” as he is affectionately known, began his coaching career at Argentinian side Lanus, winning the Copa Sudamericana and reaching the rouond of 16 in the Copa Libertadores. After a brief stay in Lanus and with Italian club Palermo, Schelotto returned to Boca Juniors and led the team to back-to-back Argentine League championships. Currently, Schelotto is at the helm of Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy. In his first year in charge of the Galaxy, Schelotto led the star-studded LA team to the Western Conference semifinals, where the club was ousted by neighbors Los Angeles Football Club.
While many believe that Schelotto is in the early stages of what will turn out to be a successful coaching career, the Columbus faithful are still enamored with GBS the player, and rightfully so. From his three assists in the 2008 MLS Cup, including the delightful lifted pass to set up Frankie Hejduk for the Black & Gold’s third goal, or his precise free kick against Real Salt Lake in the 2009 MLS Cup playoffs, some of his best moments are intertwined with the supporters’ favorite memories, and any time he returns to Columbus, it will be sure to bring smiles to the faces of Crew fans everywhere.