CARSON, Calif. — Juan Pablo Ángel can finally have some home cooking.
Since he arrived in Southern California to start preseason with the LA Galaxy in late January, the Colombian veteran had no permanent home, at least not locally. His family stayed behind on the East Coast and Ángel was managing by himself in the Los Angeles area.
But no more. Ángel and his family moved into their new house over Memorial Day weekend. In fact, the striker didn't travel to New England for the May 28 match against the Revolution in part because of the impending move. Now that he has his family with him in a home of their own, Ángel said he has one less thing to worry about.
“I’ve been living in a hotel for four months, so it’s important to get the normal routine going now with the family and the usual stuff so you can concentrate on the sport,” he said last week. “Having said that, you try to do well regardless of the circumstances … but it makes a difference for anybody.”
Ángel has scored two goals in 13 games with the Galaxy. On the field, he's had time to get to know his teammates and familiarize himself with the club's tactics and formation, but off the field it had been a struggle to find any such consistency. Life in a hotel is, after all, limiting. Now, though, the 35-year-old has his family around and will have more time to spend with them and life can return to how it was.
His two sons, ages 10 and 8, are possibly as excited as Ángel to move out West, he said.
“They’re going to school right now so we’re trying just to speed up things for them in order just to adjust and get settled as soon as possible,” Ángel said. “Just having a normal life routine is important for anybody.”
How much of a factor could his family have? Ángel’s lone goal at The Home Depot Center came with his family in attendance. After knocking in a goal against Sporting KC on May 14, he walked around with his 10-year-old, playing the role of a proud father.
With his career taking him and his sons from England to New York now to Los Angeles, Ángel says his boys may not quite understand now what sort of unique situation they have, but will someday.
“They will appreciate it when they get older," he said. "Right now for them is a fun thing to do, moving from place to place, but I’m sure in time they will appreciate all the opportunities that life has been given them. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the time here in California. It’s a beautiful place to be — the weather is fantastic. As soon as they start to make friends, they’ll be fine.”