FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On Tuesday morning, Juan Agudelo went through his paces at Chivas USA’s training session as he continued to work his way back from a hamstring injury.
But when Agudelo eventually returns to the field, it won’t be in a Chivas USA jersey. The promising young forward was traded to the New England Revolution on Tuesday afternoon and by Thursday morning he was on the training field outside Gillette Stadium joining his new Revolution teammates for a light workout.
Agudelo admits the trade caught him a bit off guard, but the 20-year-old U.S. National Team striker is looking forward to the opportunity which now stands before him in New England.
“I was a little bit shocked and excited at the same time,” Agudelo said of his reaction to the trade. “I’m hearing good things about New England. Very good players here, great coaching staff and the owner gets along with the players really well, which I really like. I’m excited to be here.”
The Revs specifically targeted Agudelo as they searched for attacking reinforcements, which were deemed of paramount importance for an offense which has generated just five goals through nine games.
General Manager Michael Burns said Agudelo is precisely the type of player the Revs need to spark the attack, and that vote of confidence provides a mental boost for the New York Red Bulls Academy product.
“They came and got me as a player for what they felt they needed,” said Agudelo. “They felt I matched what was necessary for this team to succeed, which was to get an attacking forward that would create chances and also maybe finish off chances.
“It gives me a lot of confidence to go out there and just keep doing what I’m comfortable doing, which is my game. I’ll do the best that I can to help this team make the playoffs and help this organization succeed.”
Agudelo hopes to make his Revolution debut in the near future and said his hamstring is improving every day. Although he’s unlikely to feature against another of his former clubs – the Red Bulls – on Saturday night, he is hoping to return to full training with his new club on Friday morning.
In the meantime, Agudelo is focused on settling into a new locker room for the second time in the past year.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I’m getting along with the guys really well. They’ve been really welcoming to me and I appreciate that. I’m just trying to be a nice guy, just coming in trying to break in nice.”