MARINA DEL REY, CA - JULY 21: Juan Pablo Angel #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy speaks during a news conference with Manchester City on July 21, 2011 in Marina del Rey, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Angel is the Los Angeles Galaxy's third designated player, which is the maximum number of designated player spots that a team can have. The 35-year-old is making $1 million in base salary and $1.25 million in guaranteed compensation. At this point in the season, Angel's salary is prorated at $477,941.18. A designated player's cap hit is $335,000 for a full season and $167,000 halfway through the year, with the rest being paid out of the owners' pockets. His contract runs out at the end of the 2011 MLS season.
The Galaxy have acquired Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane for a transfer fee of 3.5 million pounds ($5.7 million). The Irish international will reportedly be paid $4.5 million-a-year in 2012 and 2013. To add Keane officially, the Galaxy need to free up one of those three designated player spots previously mentioned.
MLS' international transfer window ends at 11:59 pm tonight, Eastern time, which means that if Angel isn't moved by then the Keane transfer is off. MLS internal transfers and trades, along with signings of American or Canadian players, are allowed until September 15.
Soccer By Ives has said, through Twitter, that Angel is pushing for a trade to the Union. It's that or retirement, according to Ives. If it means that Keane has a designated player spot, the Galaxy are bound to try to make it happen for the former Colombian international.
Due to the situation that the Galaxy have put themselves into, any team that adds Angel from Los Angeles will have the upper-hand in the trade negotiations. The current speculation is that the Union will be able to have the Galaxy at least pay for Angel's designated player wages.
What that means is that anything that does not fall under the salary cap (up to $335,000 of a salary) would be paid for by the Galaxy. Of course, that's based upon prorated salary at this point in the season (see the first bullet point for that number).
Releasing Thorne Holder gave the Union an open international player slot, which Angel requires. The striker qualifies as an international player because of his Colombian citizenship and lack of an American green card or citizenship. Carlos Ruiz, who was sold by the Union to Mexican second division club Veracruz, has a green card and did not give the Union another international player slot to use.
Since joining the Galaxy through the 2010 re-entry draft - MLS' version of free agency - Angel has not been able to find the form he had with the New York Red Bulls from 2007-2010, when the striker scored 58 goals.
Formation and tactics could change if Angel comes to the Union. Piotr Nowak, the Union's head coach, has used a 4-1-3-2 for most of the season, but tried out a new formation on Saturday night with newly signed Freddy Adu within it. Angel - at this point in his career - is a lot like Alejandro Moreno was for the Union last year, but not as stout and stocky and a much better finisher. He could easily be moved alongside any striker on the Union and succeed. Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga would most benefit from Angel's back-to-the-goal ability, intelligence and creativity, as was seen last year when playing with Moreno.
Angel's inclusion in a line up would most likely mean the relegation of Jack McInerney to the bench, or the removal of Veljko Paunovic from his starting role. A 4-1-3-2 can continue to be used and Angel seems to work well with another striker, so long as said striker is competent.
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