Ken Pendleton at USSoccerPlayers.com takes a look at the much-hyped arrival of Juan Pablo Angel at the New York Red Bulls. In his post-acquisition comments, Arena makes it clear that Angel is a player he desperately wanted, but, as Pendleton warns, Angel has flattered to deceive in the past. Just ask Aston Villa, which paid $18 million to bring the player to Birmingham from Argentine powerhouse River Plate in 2001. In six years with the club, Angel really delivered only once, scoring 23 goals in all competitions during the 2003-04 season.
Angel is certainly no Zinedine Zidane (yes, those rumors persist), but he does, nevertheless possess the kind of qualities that could make him dangerous in MLS: he has good vision, he plays well with his back to goal, he can drop into midfield and make attacks happen, and he's good in the air. But he also has a reputation for wasting chances says Pendleton, which if history is anything to go by, the Red Bulls could ill-afford, especially given his reported $2 million a year salary. Of course, if he helps turn the Bulls into a serious title contender, then he'll be worth every penny.