If you were hoping to see former St. Benedict’s Prep star Jose Angulo play in MLS this year don’t hold your breath.
Even though Angulo signed a contract with Major League Soccer earlier this summer, he looks destined to spend the rest of this year on the sidelines with the date for teams to freeze their roster set for Monday.
The problem? Angulo has spent several months recovering from a knee injury suffered during pre-season training camp with the New England Revolution. The Revs, who had yet to sign him, wanted to take another look at him before signing off on a final deal. The only problem has been New England’s tireless stretch of games, which has limited the number of practices for the team and left Angulo without an opportunity to impresse the Revs until next week.
The result? Angulo is set to join New England on Monday for training, the same day as the league’s deadline for teams to freeze their rosters. Unless Angulo pulls off some Bionic Man-type stuff on Monday, which is very unlikely, he is unlikely to be signed by the Revs in time to be added to the official roster for this season.
"I would say it’s unlikely that we sign him before the rosters freeze," said Mike Burns, New England vice president of player personnel, referring to Monday’s deadline for MLS teams to freeze rosters for the rest of the season. "We have obviously seen him before and like what we’ve seen, but some time has passed and we want to have another look at him before we sign him."
Angulo has not played competitive soccer in almost two years, since leaving St. Benedict’s Prep to embark on a professional career. The Colombian-born, left-footed striker had trials in Italy and Germany but eventually returned to MLS, with the hope of entering the 2008 MLS Draft.
Angulo suffered a torn meniscus while with New England in pre-season training camp and ultimately had surgery that kept him sidelined until a month ago.
"It’s been a frustrating year for Jose because he just wants to play," said Michael Wheeler, Angulo’s agent. "He’s been working out on his own for a month, trying to get ready so he can join the team and get started on his career."
Angulo will join New England in training camp next week, with the Revs left to decide whether to pick up Angulo’s contract or pass. If the Revs pass, Angulo could be signed by another team this year. The Columbus Crew has expressed interest in the past.
So why wouldn’t New England just sign him if it has the roster spot? While Angulo is on a developmental contract now, his deal would become a senior roster spot in 2009.
What do you think of Angulo’s story? Share your thoughts below.
Revs fans urged to bring balls to tonight’s Revs match
If you will be attending tonight’s New England-Chivas USA match at Gillette Stadium, you might want to pack an extra soccer ball.
The New England Revolution will participate on Operation Soccer Ball, a humanitarian project that takes donated soccer balls from the United States and gives them to children in Iraq who don’t have the means to acquire their own soccer balls.
Fans are urged to bring deflated soccer balls to the stadium, where they will be collected before the match.