Juan Pablo Angel Pays a Visit to Red Bulls Training

One of the club’s most beloved players and its all-time leading goalscorer, Juan Pablo Angel, was in town and visited Red Bulls training on Friday morning as the Eastern Conference-leader made final preparations for their match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena at 7:00 PM.

After being welcomed by staff and players at the team clubhouse, Angel was invited to participate in the light training session on Friday by Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke.

“I wanted to come back to New York; it’s been a while since I’ve been here and obviously now that I’m in town, I wanted to come and see the team,” Angel, who currently plays for Colombian side, Atletico Nacional. “I know that there is a game tomorrow so it is a great opportunity to come and see it and say hi to some friends and enjoy the outing with the family here.”

Angel joined the Red Bulls in 2007 from English side, Aston Villa, and immediately became a fan favorite as well as one of the League’s most dangerous forwards. In his first year, Angel scored 19 goals in 24 appearances and was a finalist for the MLS Most Valuable Player Award. One of his former teammates, Petke, who played with Angel in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, was pleased to see the former New York striker visit.

“He looked exactly how he did when he left. He’ a lethal goal scorer, a great guy to have around, it was wonderful to have him back out,” Petke said. “I think the guys were excited, who know him well enough, and he definitely lifted spirits a little bit for practice.”

“That’s a compliment from Mike,” said Angel after being told of Petke’s remarks. “I just landed this morning and he was kind enough to give me the opportunity to just move around with the team and I enjoyed it. Every time I have the opportunity to do what I like to do and the plays that I am familiar with, I’m happy.”

Angel, who recorded 62 goals in 112 games played in all competitions for New York from 2007-10, said he enjoyed his visit back with his former club and was equally complimentary of Petke.

“Mikey cares about this organization and hopefully things will work out for him in here,” Angel said. “He wants to do well and so far they made a good run so hopefully at the end of the season we’re talking about a great season for the Red Bulls and him in particular.”

“Everybody knows my feelings about this organization, everybody knows what I feel about this place and so I am always delighted to be back.”