Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Red Bulls Have An Angel

Juan Pablo Angel
Colombian National and
New York Red Bull, Juan Pablo Angel

Red Bull New York signed one of my favorite international players, Juan Pablo Angel!

This is a major signing for my team and a very exciting proposition for Major League Soccer, as it follows-up the signing of David Beckham and shows a true commitment by the teams in the league to spend the money needed to make this a world-class league.

If all goes perfectly, Angel could play this weekend. I will be sitting in my corner seat enjoying the match!

Red Bulls acquire Colombian forward Juan Pablo Angel

April 17, 2007

SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Red Bulls signed Colombian forward Juan Pablo Angel from English Premier League club Aston Villa on Tuesday, their second acquisition under MLS' rule allowing teams to add players outside the salary cap.

The Red Bulls hope to have the 31-year-old available to play within two weeks, club spokesman Eric Tosi said. Angel will join former U.S. international midfielder Claudio Reyna, also acquired under MLS' designated player rule, and Dutch goalkeeper Ron Waterreus.

Both were added since the Red Bulls hired ex-U.S. national team manager Bruce Arena late last season.

"I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," Angel said by telephone from Aston Villa's stadium in Birmingham, England. "I can't wait to join my teammates and start as soon as I can."

Angel's arrival is the latest high-profile player acquisition since MLS adopted in November its designated player rule, which gave teams the ability to sign up to two players outside the $2.1 million salary cap.

The Los Angeles Galaxy announced the signing of David Beckham in January, followed by the Red Bulls' acquisition of Reyna and the Chicago Fire's acquisition of Mexican forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

"(That) did play a part, all the big names going to the league," Angel said in explaining his reasons for the transfer. "When I had the opportunity to talk to Bruce, I wanted to be a part of what they were trying to do.

"The fact that MLS is trying to improve, bringing in well-known players from all over the world, it's been a great help."

Arena has been rebuilding the team since his arrival in late July, which came not long after his contract with the national team was not renewed following the U.S. team's first-round elimination at the 2006 World Cup.

"In November we traded with Chivas USA for a second designated player with the hopes of bringing in a proven forward and midfielder," Arena said. "With Juan Pablo Angel we met those goals. He's a fantastic addition, not only to the club but to MLS."

Angel was Aston Villa's most expensive acquisition in club history when he joined the northern English team in 2001 for $14 million. But after Aston Villa acquired John Carew from Lyon and Ashley Young from Watford during the January transfer window, Angel's playing time decreased.

He last played for the club on Jan. 31 against Newcastle and last started a match 11 days earlier against Watford.

Angel is likely to boost interest in the Red Bulls among New York City's sizable Colombian immigrant population.
Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Updated on Tuesday, Apr 17, 2007 8:12 pm EDT

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