Angel descends on Metro
April 17, 2007 (Official Press Release)
The New York Red Bulls announced today they have acquired former Aston Villa striker and Colombian international Juan Pablo Angel. Angel joins midfielder Claudio Reyna as the second designated player on the Red Bulls' roster and is the team's fourth Senior International. Per MLS policy, terms of the deal were undisclosed.
"I am thrilled about acquiring Juan Pablo for the New York Red Bulls," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena. "It is no secret that we have been searching for a striker since the end of the 2006 season, and Juan Pablo has been at the top of my list since Day One. To bring him here is a great situation for both Juan Pablo personally and the Red Bulls. I believe in time he will prove to be an excellent addition to our team."
The 31-year-old Angel has played with English Premiership side Aston Villa since the 2000-2001 season. During his time in Birmingham, Angel appeared in 205 games for the Villans and found the back of the net 62 times in all competitions. This past year in the Premiership, Angel played in 23 games and scored four goals and netted another three goals in three League Cup matches. Perhaps his finest season with Villa came in 2003, when he scored 23 goals in 38 games.
"I am delighted to be joining the New York Red Bulls," said Angel. "I cannot wait to start this new exciting challenge. I believe Major League Soccer is growing fast and I am very keen to be part of this. I am grateful for the faith Coach Bruce Arena and the Club has put in me and I cannot wait to join up with my new teammates. I would like to thank Martin O'Neil, Aston Villa and especially the supporters who have always made me so welcome and I will always have great memories of my time at the club. I wish the Club well for the future."
Angel joined Villa for the 2000-2001 season on a 9.5 million pound transfer from Argentine side River Plate. At River Plate from 1997-2001, Angel saw action in 91 games and scored 45 goals, including the 1999-2000 season when he tallied 19 goals in 34 matches. He helped lead River Plate to four Primera Division titles in his five seasons.
"Juan Pablo has both the physical attributes and the intellect of a world class striker that will certainly help us become a better team," said Red Bulls Technical Director Jeff Agoos. "He is a natural leader up front with the ability to finish plays off, which is something we have been looking for since the end of last season. We are extremely excited to bring a player of his caliber to the New York Red Bulls."
Angel began his career in his native Colombia with Nacional Medellin in 1993. The 6-1 forward played in 57 games and netted 9 goals from 1993-1997 with his hometown club.