Former high school All-American and St. Benedict’s Prep star Jose Angulo will join the New England Revolution for preseason training later this month.
Angulo has yet to reach an agreement with New England but Revs director of soccer Mike Burns believes the club will eventually make Angulo an offer assuming he has a good camp. For those of you who missed the news last week, Major League Soccer granted New England Angulo’s rights after the Revs filed a discovery claim on him, meaning Angulo cannot enter the 2008 MLS Draft.
Here is my column/feature in today’s Herald News on Angulo. For those of you wondering what European clubs were interested in him, Lazio and Hannover 96 were teams Angulo trained with and clubs he would have had a chance to sign with if not for his desire to return to the United States and deal with some citizenship issues that I discuss in today’s story.
One thing that should be noted regarding New England’s pursuit of Angulo is that the Revs actually filed discovery claims on Angulo on two different occasions. The first came right after his training stint last summer. The second claim was made on December 10, when teams can submit claims for 2008.
Apparently Columbus, the second team Angulo spent a week training with, failed to submit a claim on him, and based on discovery rules, the Crew would very likely have been granted his rights based on having a worse record than New England. That failure to act could come back to haunt a Crew team that is sorely in need of forward help.
I have spent plenty of time discussing the MLS ‘rules’ surrounding Angulo’s case and while some MLS people insist that the rules were not changed in this case, this decisions still provides a precedent by which players who have recently left high school can essentially ignore the draft and choose to sign with any MLS team they want. Obviously there aren’t that many high school players good enough to earn MLS contracts, and usually the ones who are good enough are targeted for Generation adidas contracts, but the league should still institute some sort of rule that serves as a deterrent for high school players looking to copy Angulo’s route to MLS.
Read the column and share your thoughts on Angulo’s situation below.