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February 16, 2009

Jeff Agoos

Juan Pablo Angel

Juan Carlos Osorio

Erik Stover

ERIK STOVER: Thank you all for joining us today. We are very excited to announce the extension for Juan Pablo Angel. Actually it was a very easy decision for the organization, and Juan has been a consummate professional with us throughout his time, and we're very excited to have him around here for a few more years.
At this point I'd like to just pass it off to Jeff Agoos.
JEFF AGOOS: Thanks, Erik. Again, I'll echo a lot of what Erik just said. I'm obviously delighted to be able to have Juan Pablo commit to Red Bull. As a club our goal is to build a top-class organization. In every facet, as a player and as a person, Juan Pablo epitomizes that vision. We believe Juan Pablo is one of the most important signings in our franchise history, and we're delighted to have him commit to Red Bull.
JUAN CARLOS OSORIO: I would just concentrate on what I believe in what Juan Pablo brings to the team. Obviously strictly on the football side, his 33 goals in 47 games for the club speaks for itself. I think Juan has shown everybody that he's a great finisher, capable of playing in many different systems, whether he plays by himself up front or whether we combine him with one or two players.
His ability to bring people into the game is very positive for the team and how we want to play. His commitment that is shown in every game and in every practice is second to none, and he's a very good example not only for the young players but for every player on the team.
His role as a leader, he takes that role in a very positive way. Every day he brings that willingness to become better, and I think that's contagious and is something that we need to have in order to develop all the young players coming through the ranks in this club.
I can only speak for the coaching staff, but we're very pleased to have Juan committed to the club for a couple more seasons, and I'm sure that he will bring back all those things that I spoke about before into this coming season. So we're very pleased to have Juan sign that extension in his contract.
That's it for me. We'll hear from Juan Pablo himself.
ERIK STOVER: While we're waiting to figure out what happened with the phone, if I can add to my previous statement that this is a clear sign from the organization that stability and continuity on and off the field is very important for us, and this is a first of what we hope are many steps to help solidify our organization from top to bottom.

Q. Does that mean you're looking to re-sign the coach to an extension, too?
ERIK STOVER: Good question. Well, today is about Juan Pablo, and as I said, we've got some more things we're working on, and hopefully we'll be able to talk about those in the near future.

Q. Assuming that Beckham goes to Milan, would this contract extension make Juan Pablo the highest paid player in the league?
ERIK STOVER: I couldn't answer that because I don't know what the other guys are making.

Q. Well, I mean, certainly you do because the Players Association publishes the list, and it had Beckham at $6.5 million, Blanco at $2.6 and Galatto at $1.8 and Juan Pablo at $1.59 last year.
ERIK STOVER: Honestly I've never seen that list before, but it makes him among the top paid players in the league.
JEFF AGOOS: I would reiterate that those figures are not always accurate.

Q. Let me ask you, Jeff or Erik, do you think he deserves to be the highest paid player in MLS?
JEFF AGOOS: Yeah, I'll take that one. Juan has shown over the course of the two years that he's been here that he's not only one of our franchise's most important signings and most potent strikers but I think one of the league's, and I think he should be one of the highest paid players, and our contract with him speaks to that.
ERIK STOVER: We'll turn it back over to Juan Pablo. He wanted to make a few comments about his joining with his contract extension. Juan Pablo?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: First of all, good afternoon for everybody. I want to start by thanking the Red Bull organization for working this extension out. I would like to especially thank Erik, Jeff and Juan Carlos for the commitment to me. It is an honor to continue to be part of this organization, and getting this extension done was very, very important for me and my family. We've been working really hard over the last couple of months, and finally we got it done at the right time before the start of the season, which is great.
And I also would like to thank the fans for the support that they have given me from day one. That is also one of the main reasons that I wanted to be here. But most importantly I'm really looking forward to when we start playing at the Red Bull arena, which I'm sure I have no doubt is going to be the best stadium in this league, and I'm really excited about it.
Thank you.

Q. Jeff or Erik, Juan was signed for next year; you talked about that. This is a multiyear extension. Does that mean we can assume this is at least until 2011?
ERIK STOVER: Well, specifically we have Juan Pablo locked up for the next two seasons, 2009 and 2010, with options beyond that, and we won't go into any more details on the term other than that.

Q. Juan, were there any other offers you were considering from anywhere outside the league, in Europe or back in South America?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: The priority was to be here, and I will answer it this way: I'm glad to be continue to be a part of this organization and this team.

Q. You had spent the last two weeks in New Jersey. Did that have anything to do with the comfort negotiations at all, that you didn't want to injure yourself or any other issue?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: No, no, it has nothing to do with the contract. I was working on my fitness and trying to get ready for the season.

Q. How much did the success of the team last year result in your desire to want to return?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: I mean, that was vital. What happened with the team last year was phenomenal. I'm really, really excited about this coming season and having reached the MLS Cup last year gave us obviously a great boost for this year, and now everyone on the squad and the team and the organization is excited about it and we want to be there again, knowing that it isn't going to be easy. But we're really excited about what happened last year and will try to get it done again this year.

Q. Juan, we expect a great tournament this year. We've got three tournaments ahead.
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: This is going to be a very important year for us, first of all, because last year was a very good year for the team reaching the MLS Cup. As always, we take it one step at a time or one game at a time. I'm excited about winning in the coming months. We'll see how much we can progress in those tournaments.

Q. Do you now see yourself retiring with the Red Bulls?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: I wasn't thinking that yet (laughter). I mean, I think that it is important to get a contract done so you can plan for the next year. I don't see retirement any time soon, but I might tell you something different within the next couple of months. Right now I'm feeling strong and I feel excited and happy to wake up every morning and work out with the team. As of now, I haven't changed my mind. We'll see what happens within the next couple of years.

Q. And about the new stadium, how much of a factor was that? I know you obviously prefer playing on grass, and last year with the back problems, did that factor in at all about you signing the extension?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: Of course. I'm really excited about it. I have no doubt that it's going to be the best stadium in the league. I'm excited about it and I want to be a part of it. I know that the Red Bull organization is making a big push to get it done as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to it because at the end of the day that is going to be our home field and it's going to be a completely different atmosphere than the one we have right now.

Q. I know you had mentioned before about how important it was -- you just mentioned how happy you were about the timing, this being before the season. How important in your mind was that to get this done before the season and you're not having this weigh on your head while you're trying to concentrate on playing games?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: I mean, it is important just to get those contract negotiations out of the way before the season starts. I mean, I'm very thankful to Juan Carlos for making this possible before the start of the season.

Q. When you look at the club and the league, what sort of positive things do you see that really prompted you to sign an extension and to stay a bit longer?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: This is just speaking for myself, but we did something last year that I think personally was in our interest to get it done, which is being at the MLS Cup and winning for the first time in the franchise history the Conference Championship. Obviously I'm excited that a couple of years into this organization we were able to just to get something going and to achieve something, so the future looks bright for us. We're trying to build something for the future, something that lasts for generations to come, and we want to be the champions of this league, hopefully competing for championships year in and year out, and eventually when people talk about the MLS, we want to be the team that everyone talks about.

Q. I was just wondering, how at home do you feel in the United States and in the New York area now, and was it important to you to get settled, and did your health relative to your family's lifestyle play into this decision?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: I mean, it seems like I've lived here forever. I mean, my family settled there very quick, and everyone knows my family is a very important part of everything I do. The city itself welcomed me with open arms, and I'd like to spend more time in here, spend some time every year, but now I'm going to have the opportunity to live in it and to get to know it better. I'm loving it. Apart from the soccer side, it's a great thing to be able to live in the United States.

Q. You mentioned improving the club. What do you think this team needs? There's still the other designated player spot. Would you prefer them to use that on another striker or on a midfielder to set up goals? Would you prefer them not to use that and use it elsewhere? Where do you think this club needs improvement?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: This is one of Juan Carlos' questions. I wouldn't like to talk about how can we use the money because obviously it's not part of what I do. I'm trying to concentrate only on the football side. There's a lot of things we can do better and so many things that we do right. As I said, this is an organization that is growing by the day and improving by the day, and our main goal is to try to be up there with the best teams in the world.

Q. Jeff or Juan Carlos, would you address that?
JEFF AGOOS: I'll address that. You know, we look to strengthen the team in several positions. I think that's probably a question outside of this conference call, and we can certainly address that.
But in terms of how it relates to Juan Pablo, we obviously are a team that needs a scorer, and Juan Pablo is a player that consistently -- he does that time after time.
We felt it was very important from a consistency and stability issue as well as a performance issue as well as an on-field issue to have Juan come back and compete for more silverware.

Q. Jeff, the designated player rule is now in its third year, and there's been some hits, some misses, and certainly you guys have succeeded as much or more than most of the other clubs. Are you lucky? Is this by design? Or is it all a matter of luck?
JEFF AGOOS: Well, you hope to minimize the luck in this by doing your research and making sure you have the right player. I don't think you can ever be 100 percent confident that you've found the right player. I think with Juan Pablo we have a new standard of what the designated player should be, not only for this team but in this league.
We were both very confident in Juan Pablo when we signed him. I don't know if the expectation was for him to deliver as much as he has. We're extremely happy with what he's done here on the field and off the field, and I think the issue going into this season was to extend that commitment for Juan Pablo.

Q. Juan Pablo, you mentioned that the club had convinced you that they were dedicated to making improvements and so forth. If it's not a specific player like another designated player or what have you, what kind of things were you looking for that you saw? And the second part is if you do retire, whether it's here or at River, wherever, do you see yourself being part of this organization long-term since you obviously would carry a lot of weight in Argentina and Colombia and so forth, or your name would?
JUAN PABLO ANGEL: I will start with the second question. Regarding the future, nobody knows what's going to happen. I obviously see myself playing for the next two years, and only time will tell as of now the relationship has been really good with the Red Bulls organization, and we'll see whether I see myself working with the organization. But I see myself working with them as of now. It's been great.
Certainly this league has specific rules that make it different from the rest of the leagues in the world, but I'm excited being in a different league, and I'm excited to be part of it. I have learned a lot. I have managed to understand a different side of the game outside the field and on the field, and it's been a great experience for me.
I'm happy to be here, and I'm happy to be part of something that I'm sure and I still believe is going to be a very important league in the coming years.
ANDY McGOWAN: I would like to say thank you to all of you. Erik, Juan, Juan Carlos, Jeff, thank you for your time today.

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