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Red Bulls add some Spanish flair
by Ridge Mahoney, March 12th, 2009 7AM

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[MLS] Red Bull coach Juan Carlos Osorio's success last year rebuilding his team with midfielders and defenders from South America and Concacacf was mixed, so he's turned to Europe, specifically Spain.

The signing of former Barcelona and Real Madrid veteran Alberto Celades was announced Wednesday following weeks of training and appearances in preseason action. Celades, 33, has played for Celta Vigo, Real Zaragoza and French club Bordeaux (on loan) in addition to the two Spanish powerhouse clubs.

He played four seasons (72 matches) for Barcelona at the beginning of his career and spent five seasons (56 matches) with Real Madrid. Zaragoza was his last stop, where he played 72 games during three seasons. When Zaragoza was relegated at the end of the 2007-8 season, he was released and signed with MLS as a free agent.

A holding midfielder at Barcelona, Celades has also played central defense, including his time at with Real Madrid. The New York roster lists him as a midfielder.

Celades is not eligible for league competition until his P-1 visa paperwork is processed and MLS receives his international transfer certificate, so he may miss the MLS 2009 opener next Thursday against Seattle. He is expected to play this Thursday when New York plays Crystal Palace Baltimore of USL-1 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Osorio hasn't abandoned the search for talent closer to home. Salvadoran Alberto Pacheco, scouted by Osorio last month in a league match playing for FAS, has been signed on loan, and the club has acquired an additional international slot from Houston that could be filled by Costa Rican right back Carlos Johnson. Mexican defender Jaime Duran and Trinidad & Tobago defender Akile Edwards are among the other foreign players who've been with New York in preseason.



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