No longer wanted by the New York Red Bulls, Juan Pablo Angel will be moving to the West Coast. With the fourth pick in the 2010 MLS Re-Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Galaxy made a serious statement when they selected the veteran forward.
“The reason we took him in the Re-Entry Draft is we think we can make it work,” Arena said during a media conference call on Wednesday. "I think Juan wants to make it work and we just have to get into some discussions this week and see if we can reach an agreement.”
If both sides are able to reach an agreement, the Los Angeles Galaxy will have a team consisting of the scoring trio Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Juan Pablo Angel. Along with David Beckham, the 2011 Los Angeles Galaxy will automatically be considered a team that's capable of ousting current MLS Cup winners, the Colorado Rapids.
In 2007, Juan Pablo Angel joined David Beckham and Cuauhtemoc Blanco as the MLS' first trio of Designated Players. While Beckham and Blanco received more attention, JPA was by far the most consistent player of the trio.
In four seasons with the New York Red Bulls, JPA scored 58 goals in 102 regular season games. Despite turning 35 years old this season, JPA didn't miss a regular season for the first time in his illustrious career as a Red Bull. In 30 games, he scored a team-leading 13 goals.
In the four years that he was a Red Bull, the team made it to the postseason in three out of his four years. In 2008, JPA helped lead the Red Bulls to MLS Cup where they eventually fell to the Columbus Crew 3-1. Following a disastrous 2009 campaign, the Red Bulls returned to the playoffs in 2010 while winning the Eastern Conference during the regular season.
Despite the acquisitions of Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, the New York Red Bulls were eliminated as they lost 3-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes in Red Bull Arena. Playing his final game as a Red Bull, JPA didn't disappoint the fans as he scored his final goal in a losing effort.
As both the New York Red Bulls and Juan Pablo Angel move forward separately towards the 2011 MLS season, it'll be interesting to see how both sides turn out. Who knows? Maybe both teams will meet in the 2011 MLS Cup.