Columbus Crew midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto was voted Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 22 of the 2008 season. Schelotto scored one goal and tallied two assists in the Crew's 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday. The win improved Columbus' record to 11-6-4 (37 points), moving them into a first-place tie with the New England Revolution atop the Eastern Conference.
The Crew showed the League they are prepared and ready for the home stretch of the season with a resounding win over Real Salt Lake, led by the stellar attacking play of Schelotto. The Crew got on the board in the 15th minute when Schelotto drew a foul outside of the penalty area on the left sideline. He whipped a freekick to the back post, where 6-foot 4-inch teammate Chad Marshall broke through Real Salt Lake's backline and headed the cross into the back of the net.
Schelotto began the next scoring sequence when he pounced on a loose ball at midfield then dribbled up the middle of the park before feeding a pass to midfielder Eddie Gaven. Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers cut Gaven's down in the area setting up a penalty kick for the Crew. Schelotto calmly slotted the shot to the lower right corner, past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando putting the Crew up 2-0 in the 25th minute.
Schelotto did not slow and was again the catalyst for the Crew's offense in the second half. After doing most of his damage on the left wing in the first half, Schelotto switched to the right side of the field and continued to dismantle Real Salt Lake's defense. In the 55th minute, Schelotto combined again with Gaven. He sent a curling pass down the right right wing for Gaven to run onto. Gaven gathered the ball and sent in a perfect cross for Brad Evans. The second-year forward headed the ball into the lower left corner of the goal to seal the victory.
Schelotto leads the League with 14 assists, three more than his 2007 total, which equals the total last season's leader, Steve Ralston, recorded. Schelotto has played in and started all 21 games for Columbus this season. He's equaled his goal tally from 2007 and has recorded three more assists than in 2007 when he played in 22 games, starting 19.
This is Schelotto's third Player of the Week award this season, and the fifth of his career. He previously won the award in Week 17 when he tallied a goal and two assists in the Crew's 3-3 tie against Kansas City. Columbus (11-6-4) returns to action on Saturday, Aug. 30 when they travel to Pizza Hut Park to play FC Dallas at 9 p.m. ET.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected each week of the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.
2008 Player of the Week WinnersWeek 1: Terry Cooke (Colorado Rapids)
Week 2: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 3: Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew)
Week 4: Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 5: Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 6: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 7: Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
Week 8: Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 9: Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago Fire)
Week 10: Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
Week 11: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)
Week 12: Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 13: Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 14: Steve Ralston (New England Revolution)
Week 15: Adam Cristman (New England Revolution)
Week 16: John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
Week 17: Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew)
Week 18: Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas)
Week 19: Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas)
Week 20: Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls)
Week 21: Ronnie O'Brien (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 22: Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew)