The latest on Jose Angulo

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.

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13 Responses to The latest on Jose Angulo

  1. TK says:

    I agree with you Ives.

    However, as you said, most kids who are good enough out of high school (not many) will be tied up in some way shape or form before hand. Gen Ad, Europe…

    I bet if we see 2 or 3 high proflie kids do it
    the rule will change, but that is probably far off.

  2. SeaOtter says:

    Ives,

    Just as a “what if”, what would happen if Angulo trialed with the Revs and they decided to pass on him? Would that allow him to enter the draft? Or, would a team that did want him have to make a deal with New England to acquire his rights?

    I’m kind of leaning towards the latter, because the Revs had to file two claims on him for last year and this year.

    Just want to understand the MLS rules a bit better.

    Thanks

  3. East River says:

    My problem with this is choice or lack of choice being a potential problem. If this kid had practiced with NE and then stated a preference to go to say NYRB. He would still have to deal with NE, according to how Ives laying out of the discovery rules. What I mean is that once a team likes a player and decides to lay a claim on him, that player’s choices become very limited within the world of MLS. Its either don’t sign with MLS or accept the reality of who holds your MLS rights.

    Same goes for the weighted lottery and to a lesser extent the MLS Super Draft. This situation is why the MLS Players Union filed anti-trust violations, because MLS the parent company of all MLS teams has an unfair market advantage with players wishing to stay in the US and play 1st division soccer. On the flipside it is this unfair market advantage that allowed and still allows MLS to exist in the first play.

  4. Brian says:

    Wait, I thought discoveries were first-come, first-served. Why would the Crew get precedence on record?

    And would the fact that he trialed so many places be why he is different? Not excusing the flip-flopping on the rule, but that could be a convenient excuse – if you shop your services elsewhere, you are a discovery. But since some potential draft picks do that after their senior year, that’s pretty tenuous if the league tries that.

  5. Tim F. says:

    Great article Ives.

    It just seems strange to me that any young player that trains with a professional club forfeits his right to enter the draft IF MLS maintains a player draft system.

  6. AJ says:

    I don’t think the precident here is that bad. Angulo dropped out of High School, or so I gather from the article. He then went around the world on trial as a free agent. The Revolution were smart enough to realize what was going on and picked him up.

    This seems more like a cautionary tale for future prospects. If you don’t want a single team in control of your MLS future, don’t go on trial. Instead, get into the draft.

    Additionally, New England is a good place for a young forward to develop. There’s not a lot of immediate pressure on him to produce, and there is a strong veteran core there for him to learn from. And it appears that Paul Mariner will be there to help coach him. RBNY seems to be the only place that would be as good or better for him, but he shot that opportunity down when he had a poor trial there.

  7. Pat says:

    How good is this kid? Is he good enough to step in as a sub for the Revs immediatley?

  8. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Good article Ives

    I hope this kind of feature writing won’t become a casualty of your work on the blog. Will you be creating some sort of article archive for this type of work?

    Pat:

    Some reports are that the kid is the best goal scorer to come out of St Benedict’s. That’s a pretty impressive endorsement.

  9. Ives says:

    TK, there just needs to be some standard of uniformity here. Either all young players must enter the league through the draft (or youth academy graduation) or don’t have a draft. It’s that simple.

    Otter, from what I understand the Revs could trade his rights to another team, but the impression I get is that it would take an awful showing at camp for Angulo not to be offered a contract.

    And Brian, discoveries are first-come, first-serve, but December 10th is the first day of the 2008 cycle of discoveries and if Columbus put in a claim the same day as New England then the ‘tie-breaker’ would be allocation order, and the Crew is higher on that list due to its poor record.

  10. Javier says:

    the people that disagree seem to be thinking too narrowly, as Ives is looking at the big picture here…”thinking short, when you should be thinking long,” as Prop Joe would say.

    it doesn’t matter that NE happens to be the team in this scenario…what matter is that this is a bad precedent being set, and it needs to be stopped…if anything, this hurts the smaller market teams, as teams like RBNY could just use its resources to go around scouting and filing discoveries on the best high school players.

    this circumvents both the draft and the youth academies, and i also certainly don’t think it’s what the league had in mind when it created the “Discovery” rule in the first place.

  11. Ives says:

    Angulo’s strength are his quickness, ability to run at defenders, nasty left foot and composure in the penalty area. He finishes chances and has the strength to hold off defenders. His biggest issue is fitness, when he’s fit he’s a beast and the word I get is that he’s fit.

  12. SeaOtter says:

    Ives,

    One last question on the Angulo front…from me at least.

    Do you have any insight as to why it took so long for him to begin the citizenship process? He’s been in the states since 3 and I don’t believe that the process takes 15 years.

    Thanks again.

  13. ivessoccer says:

    yo…ive seen jose play multiple times…he isnt good enough to sub for the revs right away…in fact…he is too good for mls…he shouldnt waste his time in the states…he would dominate the mls…jose if your reading this go to lazio haha.