Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been the superman, the maestro, the MVP of the resurgent Crew. The team wouldn’t have won a Supporters Shield and an MLS Cup last year and he remains a big part of this year’s team. Hw still plays with the same fire at 37 he did 15 years ago. That is what made his penalty kick miss so shocking; stunning the entire stadium into silence. Even Schelotto is human.
After such a high profile failure; some players may go into hiding and try to dodge the question “How?”, not Schelotto. After the game, he was about to leave the locker room but was corralled by the waiting press. He dutifully answered the questions. He didn’t blame it on the divots that the Sounders players dug out at the penalty spot. He didn’t point the finger at the ref who allowed for a full 2 minute stoppage before the kick. There was only one person to blame, himself. Though not that any of his teammates would agree.
Even as he was working through the words to explain the unexplainable, I was struck by the image of the seemingly superhuman MVP. Here he stood with reporters around him. His hands hanging to his side, the left hand grasping a soda, a youth team photo, and about a half dozen fan letters. His face drawn down with defeat and shoulders slumped. He is a man that has reached some of the highest levels in the game, but at 37 years old still carried the full weight of a missed penalty in a regular season game for a first place team.