March 11, 2009

The New York Red Bulls have signed Albert Celades, according to The Spanish defensive midfielder/defender comes with no transfer fee attached after being released by Real Zaragoza.

Celades is best known for his roles at Spanish superclubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. After coming through the Barcelona youth system, Celades made more than 70 appearances for the club, mostly as a sweeper.

After a stint with Celta Vigo, he joined Real Madrid and won two La Liga trophies. A loan to French club Bordeaux came before he eventually joined Zaragoza.

Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio evaluated Celades during a trial while the club were in preseason in Argentina. The 33-year-old impressed enough to warrant a contract, and is expected to start in the defensive line for the Major League Soccer club. He will help make up for the loss of defenders Jeff Parke (expansion draft) and Chris Leitch (trade with the San Jose Earthquakes), who departed in the offseason.

Celades signed his contract Tuesday, and is expected to join the club in training on Wednesday.

In other Red Bulls news, goalkeeper Jon Conway has been cleared to train with the club. Conway, along with the now-departed Parke, was banned for 10 matches at the end of last season for breaking the league's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Policy by testing positive for androstatriendione (ATD) and boldenone metabolites, performance enhancing substances.

Each player has served six matches of the suspension, and has a further four to sit out. However, MLS commissioner Don Garber clarified that Conway may return to training with the club in preseason. Parke is currently out of contract and pursuing options abroad, including Belgian club RAEC Mons, where he is on trial.

Conway will be available for New York's match against Real Salt Lake on April 18 in Giants Stadium. Danny Ceparo is expected to continue filfilling goalkeeping duties in his absence.

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