FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When the opportunity to acquire a 20-year-old U.S. National Team forward with extensive MLS experience became a realistic possibility, the New England Revolution wasted little time striking a deal.
So it came to be that the Revs acquired Juan Agudelo from Chivas USA in exchange for allocation money in a trade that was completed late Tuesday afternoon.
“There are a lot of things that we had to consider and I’m sure Chivas did, as well, but to get a player like Juan and give up some allocation money, in the short term and for this year, it was really a no-brainer,” said Revolution General Manager Michael Burns. “He fit exactly what we were looking for, to be honest with you.”
What the Revs were looking for was an out-and-out forward to help spark an attack which has registered just four goals through the season’s first eight games. The club explored options both within MLS and outside the league for the past couple months before beginning a dialogue with Chivas USA late last week. Once the Revs realized that Chivas USA was willing to part with Agudelo, they quickly pursued a move.
Agudelo joins an attacking corps which features Chad Barrett, Jerry Bengtson, Diego Fagundez, Dimitry Imbongo, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene and Juan Toja, amongst others. Although the Revs haven’t produced enough goals early in the season, they’re confident Agudelo adds an important dimension.
“He’s a forward who can play up high, can play underneath, is strong, can hold it up, can score and we feel like he’s one of the better young forwards in this league,” said Burns. “To be able to make this move from within the league is not always easy, so we feel like we just added a piece to the puzzle, for sure.
“We’ve struggled to score goals this year … We feel that Juan brings something to us that we didn’t have and even though we weren’t scoring a bunch of goals thus far, we still feel like we have the makeup of players who are capable of creating and scoring goals. We think Juan just brings something else to the table in terms of helping our team create and score more goals.”
Agudelo registered two goals and one assist in six appearances (four starts) with Chivas USA this season before a recent hamstring injury sent him to the sidelines. He’s expected to arrive in New England later this week but is unlikely to be healthy enough to feature when the New York Red Bulls – another of his former clubs – visit on Saturday.
But Agudelo will soon be back on the field, and this time, he’ll be wearing a Revolution jersey.
“We feel like he makes us a better team and certainly helps us in the attack. He can score goals. He can set up goals,” said Burns. “We’re pretty excited.”