Juan Pablo Ángel isn't leaving Los Angeles after all.
Rivals Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy formally announced a trade on Wednesday that sends the Colombian Designated Player down the hall at the Home Depot Center for a third-round pick in the 2012 Supplemental Draft.
The move allows the Galaxy to make room on their roster for Ángel’s replacement, Robbie Keane, who was signed to a DP contract on Monday.
The trade was no secret after Ángel confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday that he had trained with Chivas USA in a practice that was closed to the media. He also spoke to local media in Los Angeles confirming his departure from the Galaxy and that he had other options in MLS. Chivas opted to delay the official announcement until Wednesday.
“Juan Pablo is a great pickup for us because he knows how to score goals and has scored the most goals in the league through the last five years," said Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser in a statement. "Outside of his experience and ability on the field, he’s a classy person and I think that another experienced classy person in our locker-room is a positive. It is a win-win when you get a good player and a good person who fits into what we are trying to do.”
The 35-year-old former Colombian international scored just three goals in 22 league appearances with LA after hitting for double digits in each of four seasons with the New York Red Bulls for a total of 58 goals. It was a short seven-month stay in Galaxy colors for Ángel, who was reunited with his former Red Bulls manager, Bruce Arena, after New York declined to offer him another contract following the expiration of his four-year deal.
Ángel joins a Chivas USA side that is in the middle of a playoff race, currently tied for the 10th and final wild card spot. Fraser has relied on forwards Justin Braun, Alejandro Moreno and Marcos Mondaini, who have accounted for 15 of the team’s 30 goals this year.
“I hope the season is better for me compared to how it began," Ángel added in a statement. "I now have the opportunity to help a team that has worked very hard to get where it is. Despite certain difficulties in the beginning of the year, this team has, little by little, found its best level of play. The coach has communicated his plan and the players understand it. I need to adapt very quickly and try to help the team earn a spot in the playoffs.”
Despite their derby rivalry, Ángel is the latest in a long list of former Galaxy players who currently play for Chivas USA, joining Tristan Bowen, Ante Jazic, Paulo Nagamura, Michael Umaña, Simon Elliott and Moreno. Fraser himself played for the Galaxy, as did his assistant at Chivas USA, Greg Vanney.
Ángel will come face to face with Bruce Arena and the Galaxy once again on Oct. 16 in the second-to-last game of the regular season that will be nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.