Last week, the top two teams in MLS, the Columbus Crew and the New England Revoultion, met in a match that would be critical to this year’s race for the Supporters’ Shield. And Guillermo Barros Schelotto, or as I will call him for brevity’s sake “GBS”, absolutely embarrassed New England. He had a goal. He had two assists. He did as he pleased and it seemed to please him greatly. 4-0 was the result.
GBS was, and always is, the difference for CMB. He’s got a whopping 18 assists this season now. And six goals to boot. In order to lose the MVP race this season, he would have to do something drastic… like Britney Spears.
He’s the best Argentine soccer player in MLS, which basically means he’s also the best player in MLS. Hey, say what you want about the prose of Jorge Luis Borge, but those guys can really play some soccer. Seriously. They’re good.
And he’s one of their best. Ever. GBS is the most decorated player in Argentine soccer history. More trophies than Maradona. He’s really that good. It’s crazy. And he’s recently been gracing all of us with his dominance. But no one seems to be noticing. He is certainly not a sweetheart of the national media.
But GBS is better than America’s sweetheart, David Beckham. In fact, it’s not really even that close. But it’s too late for MLS to try to turn people on to GBS. MLS is already all-in on Becks despite the fact the “Beckham Balloon” in popularity the league had promised proved to be a bag of hot air. He filled the seats in the cities he played in, but the TV audience still wasn’t there.
Meanwhile, the playmaker they could build the league around (the kind that can get the casual fan to say “wow, what an amazing athletic play”, instead of “wow, why do people say soccer is low scoring, Beckham’s Galaxy team is losing by a baker’s dozen”) is actually quietly toiling his way to an MVP in Columbus rather than playing in the bright lights of the HDC.
If you watch commercials nowadays (I try not to), you know MLS has unfortunately gone Beckham-or-Bust. While Becks should receive some focus from the league because he freaking sells their product to millions of potential fans and still turns in decent performances (his team sucks, he does not), the fact Becks has 100 commercials and GBS has none is indicative of MLS’s overall strategy which is to put flash over substance, and formulaic play over truly creative soccer.
People like to watch Beckham. But they like to watch good soccer even more, and Beckham’s bunch ain’t playing a lot of good soccer. I say, push GBS on the people. He’s that good. It’s like even as he gets older, he never gets tired. He is indefatiguable. His vision is unparalleled in the league and it always seems like he has fresh legs at the start of every second half.
It’s almost impossible. Like he’d have to be two men to be so good.
Wait a minute…
GBS has a twin brother he played with professionally in Argentina.
Was that you last week in the second half against the Revs?
It’s official. I need to stop watching The Prestige.