If anybody had any lingering doubts about Schelotto's claim to the exalted position of league MVP, then they should be forced to watch him set the table for the three Crew goals in the MLS Cup final. Sure, Moreno did most of the work on the first goal, but Schelotto dropped a couple of balls on bearded noggins for the final two to bring the cup to Columbus for the first time. To the talking points, my fine-feathered brigade!
* Secret Benny Beard Transfusion? So what's up with Sigi's bearded legion? Schelotto, obviously too cool for school, and Carroll (genetically unable to produce facial hair?) were the only Crew players not sporting Olsen-wannabe facial fringes. I was almost transported back to the halcyon days of West Germany '74 on a hirsute wave of nostalgia. Even baby-faced Robbie Rogers was rockin' the chin locks, perhaps in an effort to escape the label of "Wonderboy!" that the Telefutura announcers gleefully stuck him with every chance they got.
* Bank Shots? Have you ever played basketball with a dude that seemed to always call "glass" when he was shooting? That was Schelotto's game yesterday, only he used his defenders' heads as a backboard. Heck, even that blast from long range was inches from pinging in off the crossbar. In a related note: were you folks watching the Mickey Mouse Channel treated to the shot of Schelotto's twin up in the private box? Same haircut and everything. That's just wrong. One minute you see the dude running around on the pitch, then he's up in a luxury box on a cell phone. Creepy.
* The Voodoo Done Died, Ma! Osorio was riding his luck and a half-lame horse throughout the playoffs, and it was bound to give up the ghost sooner or later. When Wolyniec poked home the equalizer, I had a momentary flash of, "oh crap, what if the magic fix is in?" but the Crew only took a few ticks of the clock to restore my faith in scientific reason and logic. I guess security at the HDC was confiscating dead chickens and fetishes at the gate.
* Angel of the Mourning? Where the heck was Juan Pablo Angel? One superstar turned up to play and had a hand in everything that was good about his team. The other was well nigh invisible. But I tell you whose agent should be getting some phone calls this off-season--Dane Richards. There was so much about him that reminded me of Shaun Wright-Phillips. He's added a significant amount of control, a good deal of tenaciousness, and some nifty passing touches in tight space to the lightning quickness he's always been blessed with. If any mid-tier Euro-clubs had scouts at this thing (or the playoffs in general), I wonder if the Bulls will be able to hang onto him for much longer.
So at long last, the MLS season has come to a close. The Crew didn't seem to be anybody's favorites in the spring, but they went from strength to strength, grabbing the throne as we moved from summer into fall. From that point on, they refused to relinquish the crown, winning first the Supporters' Shield, and now the MLS Cup in what I suppose must be the equivalent of a domestic "double" (Open Cup would make it a domestic "triple"?)
Sigi's stock will no doubt go through the roof, but there will be offseason questions as well. Will they hold onto the league MVP? It's a tough question, because Schelotto both deserves more money, but becomes an increasingly risky investment as he ages. For that matter, can they even hang onto Sigi?
All questions for another day. For the time being, enjoy your triumph, oh ye Hirsute Legions of Columbus! For tomorrow you must prepare for the expansion draft and the long, cold winter before MLS is born anew in the spring.