On December 15th, 2010 Juan Pablo Angel was selected by LA Galaxy in stage two of the MLS re-entry draft.
A month later he was signed as their third designated player. Without getting carried away with what designated player means, let’s just say their wages don’t count toward the salary cap and their first touch should be better than that of a non-designated player.
Angel has performed well at his previous clubs. He started at Atletico Nacional (1993-1997) in his hometown of Medellin in Colombia. He scored 45 goals in 147 league matches and was then sold to River Plate (1997-2001) as Hernan Crespo’s replacement.
In Argentina, Juan Pablo scored 62 goals in 132 matches including 16 goals in Copa Libertadores fixtures. In 2001, Aston Villa paid £9.5 million for Angel and he quickly became a fan favorite scoring 74 goals during his time in England.
New York Red Bulls came calling in 2007 and signed Angel as a designated player. He scored his first goal in a US open cup match against the LA Galaxy. Since that goal Juan Pablo has scored in double figures every year.
19 goals and five assists in 2007
14 goals and three assists in 2008
12 goals and two assists in 2009
13 goals and four assists in 2010
You could probably get good odds on him getting double figures again but hey kids this isn’t a history lesson. This is a timeline.
Juan Pablo Angel will be 36 years old this year. You kind of get the feeling that New York wasn’t going to wait for his goal output to drop off before selling.
Hopefully LA was thinking of Angel as a quick-fix-replacement for Edson Buddle. Let’s not forget that Buddle was getting up there in age as well.
So what is LA doing about the future? They sold a promising young Tristan Bowen who scored a wonderful goal last year against the Columbus Crew while Buddle was away in South Africa.
LA acquired Forwards Chad Barrett from Toronto and Adam Cristman from D.C. United. Both seem to be bit-part players. The only other forward listed on the roster, besides Donovan, is Bryan Jordan.
LA Galaxy fans will expect Angel to step up and score in double figures as he has in all of his previous MLS seasons.
He is usually good for a few assists throughout the year. With service from Donovan and Beckham you can bet he will get his chances. If this so called third called designated player doesn’t work out, I’m sure his age will be the excuse.
Either way LA took a gamble while teams like New York are building for the future with superstars as the foundation. Maybe Juninho should be the third DP.
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