Los Angeles Soccer: Fernando Clavijo
Juan Pablo Angel will be ready to take the field when Chivas USA opens its season Sunday against Houston at Home Depot Center. The Colombian striker signed his contract Thursday, general manager Jose Domene confirmed in a text message to ESPN Los Angeles.
Domene said Angel would not occupy a Designated Player slot, for those whose salary exceeds the $350,000 budget maximum, but did not say whether the club used allocation money to pay down his salary-cap hit or that he signed a contract under the DP figure.
Angel, 36, made $1 million in base salary last season, according to figures released by the MLS Players Union. He scored seven goals in nine games for Chivas after arriving in an August trade from the Galaxy, which needed to clear a DP slot to sign Irish forward Robbie Keane.
Angel, 36, is one of Major League Soccer's deadliest forwards, with 71 goals in five seasons, the first four with the New York Red Bulls. A former star at Colombian powerhouse Atletico Nacional, Argentine giant River Plate and Aston Villa in England, he spent the entire preseason with Chivas while finalizing his contract for this year. He and Domene had reported there was one sticking point that delayed completion of the deal, but neither would identify it.
The club has provided no details on his contract. His salary won't be public until the Players Union, as is its custom, releases all of the league's figures in mid-spring.
Domene also said Chivas “will likely” sign former Cal Poly star Patrick McLain as its third goalkeeper on Friday. McLain has been battling UCLA All-American Brian Rowe for the job behind returning starter Dan Kennedy and newcomer Tim Melia.
That likely will finalize the Goats roster for the start of the MLS season. They would have 25 players on their active roster -- including forward Tristan Bowen, who is on loan to KSV Roeselare in Belgium -- with five slots available. Six remaining players have been on trial with Chivas, and head coach Robin Fraser has repeatedly introduced trialists to camp since taking over as head coach 14 months ago. More could be coming.