Arena says Galaxy can make Ángel move work
The Los Angeles Galaxy made the biggest noise in Wednesday’s Re-Entry Draft, as the Supporters’ Shield holders nabbed former New York Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel with the fourth selection.
Whether that selection will translate into a deal with the 35-year-old Colombian remains to be seen.
“The reason we took him in the Re-Entry Draft is we think we can make it work,” Arena said in 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 the Galaxy and Ángel agree to terms, the Galaxy would add a player who scored 13 goals last season and has 61 career MLS goals. He would also fill one of the club’s most glaring needs. Edson Buddle led the team with 17 goals and Landon Donovan added seven, but Jovan Kirovski was third on the club with four goals and no other player had more than two.
“We’re not going to be acquiring Juan to play five years for the LA Galaxy," Arena said. "We know that. I think Juan has two or three years left in him. Juan played in every game last year for New York. We think he’s a fit player and his fitness has been a big reason for his success over the years. He’s a very good professional and takes very good care of himself.”
If Ángel sees every game for the Galaxy this season, it is likely that he will do so in a strike partnership with Buddle.
"He can score goals," Arena said of the Red Bulls' all-time leading scorer. "He’s very good in front of the goal. He can hold the ball up and I think, although Edson is similar, I still think they’ll be a good duo if we can get them both on the field together.”
The Colombian hitman was one of New York's three Designated Players in 2010, and a potential move to LA would see him line up alongside the Galaxy's DP tandem of Landon Donovan and David Beckham.
“I would think there’s a chance he's certainly going to be a Designated Player," Arena said. "We haven’t gotten into those discussions. There are other mechanisms in the league that allow for a player not to be a Designated Player. My guess is if we sign him, he’ll likely have that designation.”
Rumors swirled that Ángel was interested in staying on the East Coast, but Arena said he’d spoken to the player a couple of times before the draft and dispelled those reports.
“He’s very interested in coming to LA,” Arena said. “He’s a great professional and if we can reach agreement on a contract, I know he’ll come here with a lot of enthusiasm and commitment.”
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