FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Juan Agudelo will get an early start to his 2017 season. The New England Revolution forward has been called in to the U.S. National Team for the first training camp of 2017. His invitation to the annual January Camp was already teased by newly appointed U.S. head coach Bruce Arena during a Facebook Live Q&A with fans in December, and the roster was made official by U.S. Soccer Thursday afternoon.
Agudelo and his fellow camp invitees will report to Carson, Calif. on Jan. 10 and remain with the national team through Feb. 4. His Revolution teammates will begin the MLS preseason on Monday, Jan. 23 at Gillette Stadium before traveling to Casa Grande, Ariz. on Jan. 27.
Agudelo, who owns 21 international caps and three goals since making his national team debut in 2010 at age 17, feels more prepared than ever to seize the opportunity. While his experience at the international level is an asset, Agudelo also views this camp as a chance for a fresh start with the national team.
“Anytime I get that call, I get goosebumps. It’s very emotional for me,” Agudelo said. “It’s an important part of my future with the national team with a new coach, a new opportunity, and also a new beginning.”
When Agudelo, 24, joins his U.S. teammates on January 10, it will mark the third different U.S. National Team head coach for whom he has played. Arena, the winningest coach in U.S. soccer history, will be managing his first U.S. training camp since returning for his second stint as head coach on Nov. 22, 2016.
“I’m very excited to see how [Coach Arena] trains,” Agudelo said. “He’s a very good coach. He has great history. The LA Galaxy have done so well with him.”
During this camp, Agudelo will have at least two more opportunities to impress Arena and his coaching staff, which includes former Revolution players Matt Reis and Pat Noonan. The U.S. National Team has friendlies scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29 against Serbia (4 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and UniMas) in San Diego, Calif., and Friday, Feb. 3 against Jamaica (7 p.m. ET on FS1 and UniMas) in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“My main goal is to work my butt off to have [Coach Arena] have to call me into every camp,” Agudelo said. “That’s my main goal, to make such an impression that I have to be called into the next camp.”
Agudelo was propelled into the camp conversation due in part to a stellar close to his 2016 MLS campaign, a season in which he won the Revolution’s Golden Boot Award. The Colombian-born striker recorded four goals and three assists in the Revs’ final seven league contests and tallied a brace in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, a run that helped him earn an appearance in the United States’ friendly against New Zealand on Oct. 11, 2016.