MVP Schelotto to stay with Columbus in '09

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According to the Columbus Crew's Web site, 2008 MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto will stay with the team for another season after the club's decision to pick up his option for 2009.

With the deal, Schelotto becomes Columbus' first designated player in team history. None of the specifics of the deal were released as per club policy.

"Securing Guille's return was one of our top priorities entering the offseason and we are pleased to get that accomplished," said Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers. "It goes without saying that he was one of the keys to our championship season and, on top of that, he helps attract international attention to both the club and our region. We look forward to his continued dynamic contributions next season."

There was speculation that the Argentine preferred a move back to his home country to finish out his career, but with this announcment the rumors have been put to bed, at least until the end of the 2009 campaign.

During the regular season, Schelotto was in outstanding form for the Crew contributing 19 assists and scoring seven goals. The assists total led the entire league, while his goal total was good for second on the team.

While helping the Crew to their first MLS Cup, Schelotto added six playoffs assists to his staggering total and also brought home the MVP award in the championship game with a three-assist performance.