Los Angeles Football Club announced some surprising news on Friday, with the hire of retired forward Juan Pablo Angel as a technical consultant for the club. According to the news release, “Based in Medellin, Angel’s primary job is to help ensure that LAFC is establishing the most efficient infrastructure in South America.”
“This is a massive and important addition to our Soccer Operations staff,” LAFC General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations John Thorrington said. “Juan Pablo brings the perfect combination of expertise, knowledge and background in the region to our club, and he will make sure we are laying the right foundation to place us in pole position for top talent in South America whom are the right fit for LAFC.”
“Juan Pablo will play an important role for us as we look to build and grow our talent network in South America,” LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said. “He brings a deep understanding of the game and I am looking forward to working with him.”
“I am excited to be a part of the process of building LAFC,” Angel said. “The vision and investment of this club to find players in South America is impressive and shows that LAFC is committed to doing things differently in order to be successful.”
Angel, 42, most recently worked as part of the Atlético Nacional technical staff, which was his hometown club. Angel started and ended his playing career there, and in between played for River Plate in Argentina, Aston Villa in the Premier League, and three MLS teams: New York Red Bulls, where he was the leading scorer until Bradley Wright-Phillips passed him, LA Galaxy, where he had a short, ill-fated stint, and Chivas USA, where he had an uneven run with a bad team.
It’s interesting that LAFC are hiring a guy with prior Galaxy and Chivas USA ties, although those fearing a “taint” by association probably shouldn’t be worried, since JPA departed Chivas USA before the worst times came (and the team is no longer around) and his run with the Galaxy was a mere half-season, and he was effectively offloaded to Chivas as an afterthought. In other words, I don’t think there’s special ties on either side to the other LA teams.
We’ll see how this role develops and where it bears fruit. For now, let’s watch this video:
What do you think? Leave a comment below!