As most of you probably know by now, New York declined to pick up Juan Pablo Angel's contract option, meaning that the 35-year old striker, and best player in franchise history, is as close as an MLS player can be to free agency. Or he was, until LA claimed him in the inaugural MLS re-entry draft.
This doesn't necessarily mean that he will play for LA next season. The Galaxy still have to sign him to a contract, which may be dicey as it will probably entail a pay cut. The Supporter's Shield winners are still rumoured to be interested in Ronaldinho, who will probably leave the San Siro in January. They have two DPs in Beckham and Donovan, and would certainly need to keep a slot open if Ronaldinho is to play for them. Angel himself has talked about returning to South America to play, so we'll have to see how that works out.
Reviews have been mixed about the move. According to a report, audible groans were issued in the draft room when LA selected Angel, presumably by executives who coveted him themselves. Fanhouse.com counts LA among the losers in the re-renty draft, based on their selections of Angel and Frankie Hejduk. A right back whose legs are starting to fail him is certainly of questionable value, but even at decreased production, LA can get a lot out of JPA. If not for the emergence of Agudelo, I would have said NY were insane to let him go, simply because the value of anyone you replace him with is not likely to be equal to his value, even in decline as it is, especially for one more season.
With NY, he was not only the main offensive option, he was often the only offensive option, from the departure of Altidore until the arrival of Henry at midseason. Since 2007 Angel had 58 goals, the most in MLS in that span, and was well-known for his ability in the air. Some of his best work came when he was partnered with Jose Altidore, a player similar in many respects to his new teammate, Edson Buddle. And he never had anyone to provide the kind of service he should get from Beckham and Donovan.
In my mind it's a great move for LA, and its the one team that I could accept seeing him play for. Thank god it wasnt DC or NE. I hope they get him signed and he has success, except when they play NY, of course.