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Celades joins Red Bulls for soccer, not sight-seeing


It is a question posed to seemingly every high-profile European player to ever come to the New York Red Bulls. "Do you look forward to living in New York?" Generally, players will rave about the chance to live near New York and see the sights and enjoy the city.

Not Albert Celades.

The Spanish midfielder heard the question on Wednesday and didn't skip a beat when he gave a reply that should be sweet music to the ears of Red Bulls fans.

"I came here to play soccer and to play with this team," Celades said. "I didn't come here to live in New York. It is an attractive city, but that's not why I came here."

The Red Bulls will be banking on Celades providing the type of skilled central midfield presence the club sorely lacked in 2008.

"He has that ability to see different options and select the best one," Osorio said. "He has that eye-of the needle pass.

"He has done it at the highest level so that can only lead me to believe that he will be more than capable of doing that in MLS."

Osorio first learned of Celades' availability and interest in MLS from former MetroStars head coach and MLS director of player programs Alfonso Mondelo. Osorio didn't exactly need to be told of Celades resume, having watched him during his peak years in Europe with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

With the Red Bulls already likely to employ a 4-2-3-1 more often than most other formations, Celades gives the Red Bulls the ideal player for that formation. He can play in an advanced role where his passing can be maximized, but he can also be played in a deeper role.

"He's in the same mold as Iniesta and Xavi," said Osorio, referring to the FC Barcelona and Spanish national team tandem. "He keeps the ball, goes side-to-side, forward and backwards and his distribution is second to do none.

"He will not be a defensive midfielder, but a box-to-box player."

Celades, 33, made the decision to play in the United States as a new challenge after spending a majority of his career with some of the biggest clubs in the world.

"I have played in Europe my whole career and I wanted to experience something new," Celades said. "For me it's an experience. I want to get to know another league, another country, another style of play, another way of life and to have a new experience."

Celades admitted to not being too familiar with MLS, but he did speak to former Real Madrid teammate Aitor Karanka, who spent the 2006 season playing with the Colorado Rapids.

"We aren't too familiar with it in Spain because it isn't shown there, but the reputation is growing," Celades said. "You see Beckham here, who I played with at Real Madrid, and perhaps I can play here and let more Spanish players can know of the league and come to play here."

Celades acknowledged that MLS would be his last professional stop before retiring, but is very clear that he is here to play hard and play well. If Celades plays up to his resume, the Red Bulls could wind up with the best signing of the season in MLS, especially considering the fact that the club didn't have to use a Designated Player slot to make it happen.

"It's a good thing that he has already made his money," Osorio said. "because otherwise it would have been hard to bring him here."


  1. I’m excited to see Celades play, he sounds quality. Come on NY! The arena looks great, I will seriously contemplate season tickets even if I’m in poverty

  2. Uhh, I just spent 30 minutes on that 3d seat site, and I’m bound to spend much more time there in the future. Anyway, RBA, WOW. What are the chances the USMNT tries to squeeze into the first game slot there? How would you guys feel about that?

  3. This is great news. It is nice when the players care more about the game than the sightseeing. We really don’t want a replay of Lothar Matthaus who said he was injured so he could go on vacation in St. Tropez with his bimbo blonde model girlfriend.

  4. I am getting excited about the Bulls. I like the fullback signing. I like the notion of having a guy like Celades in the midfield….hopefully he can give JPA the service he needs.

    Too bad about the stadium!!! Another year at the morgue.

  5. yea he is horribly paulie but he is definitely going to be starting over mbutu and kandji even though that is isn’t fair. I can’t stand the guy i wish he wasn’t on our team but oh well.

  6. I really don’t see us losing 2 games in a row at anytime this season , points galore, goals galore, Trophies Galore! Oh Angel and Raul up top sometime soon ! Albert get it done !

  7. Actually Eric, there is a stadium already there. It seats about 6K and would have to be added on to. It sounds like a desperate last-minute stab. And just for the record, AB is not involved as far as money, so it doesn’t strengthen the bid at all.

  8. A.S. we do have a lot of speed on the field apparently Johnson is very athletic, khano smith and dane richards will be playing on the flanks. How much more speed do we need? Kandji, mbutu, and oduro on the bench. We can’t play all of them we would just be horrible, we need to find a balance between control and speed. I just wonder if we will get rid of echeverry and pietrovallo now because it doesn’t seem we need the, they eat up cap space, and take up international spots.

  9. I’m speculating here, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see three in the back, especially if Johnson gets signed. That could put Celades in front of the defense in a three back formation, with Stammler and Rojas accompanying him.

    As far as the jackass who make the comment mocking NY fans for suggesting that Rojas might sit: guess freakin’ what. We have depth. With a healthy roster, hell yes Rojas could sit. I can’t imagine that anyone except Angel is a lock to start, with a healthy team. Rotating the squad could help the team a lot over the course of a long season.

  10. If we’ve got a 4-2-3-1, where the center is Celedes, Stammler, and Rojas, then a lot of our speed is on the bench. I thought JCO was looking at trying to get a lot of speed on the pitch at the same time – but, now, I guess not.

  11. wow! praying works i think celades will do for the mls as beckham did. just cause he doesnt bring in the big money and flashing lights doesnt mean his presences and skills wont turn eyes to the league.

  12. Things are looking up for my Bulls this season. Lets just hope he doesn’t need as much time to settle into the league as Jorge Rojas did.

  13. If he could bring in more players from Spain, albeit one who likely would be 31 years and older, it would still help raise MLS’ game and, in turn, force the American youth to step up theirs.

  14. ————Angel————





    Great starting 11…and we actually have depth at all the positions this year.

  15. “I came here to play soccer and to play with this team,” Celades said. “I didn’t come here to live in New York. It is an attractive city, but that’s not why I came here.”

    and then:

    “For me it’s an experience. I want to get to know another league, another country, another style of play, another way of life and to have a new experience.”

    hmmm…which is it?

  16. Not at all A.S. he will be one of the (2) in the 4-2-3-1… Rojas will be in the center of the (3)… so Stammler could very well play next to Celades.

  17. A.S.

    If I had to guess I still say Rojas is the attackind mid behind Angel, and Celades will partner with any of Sassano/Stammler/Petra/Mendes right infront of the back 4.


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