Mostly because he made his US national team debut at the extremely young age of 17 (Nov. 17, 2010 vs. South Africa) and scored in it, but lofty expectations have followed New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo every step of the way since. Thus far, he hasn’t been a complete bust as a professional soccer player; he’s not Freddy Adu. But this is an interesting period in a career which still has so much untapped potential. Agudelo was traded to New England two years ago this week from Chivas for allocation money, and this will be his first full season with the Revs after he spent last year on loan with the Dutch club FC Utrecht.
“We are really happy with Juan,” said New England (5-2-2) head coach Jay Heaps after Saturday’s 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls (3-1-4), a victory which vaulted the Revolution to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. “It was the third game in a row that he has played well. He has great feet and he’s really good at hitting the ball early. With those crosses, we like the way that he’s putting the ball in the box.”
Agudelo started up top with Charlie Davies on Saturday and played for 83 minutes before he was substituted for. Even though he didn’t get the assist (unlike hockey, soccer officially only credits one assist), Agudelo was involved in the sequence of passes that resulted in midfielder Teal Bunbury’s game-winning goal in the 60th minute. This season, Agudelo has two goals and one assist.
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Agudelo and the Revs were excited to knock off this season’s last unbeaten team in Major League Soccer on Saturday and they set a new club record by extending their home unbeaten streak at Gillette Stadium to 13 matches (10-0-3), dating back to 2014.
“It means a lot to get the result,” noted Agudelo who originally came up through the Red Bulls Academy. “We are building a rivalry there - the two teams on top of the East. We showed how hard it is to beat us when we fight and strive to do our best.”
Who knows how much longer Agudelo will play for the Revs; it’s a double-edged sword since the better he plays, the more likely he is to go to a more prestigious league. Then again, if he continues to improve his form, US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann could call him back (his last appearance was Jan. 29, 2013) into the fold.
New England’s next match is on Friday (8, Univision) at Orlando City (2-4-2).