Friendly Foes: Agudelo (USMNT) and Watson (Jamaica) to face off on Friday night

Agudelo, Watson

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – When Je-Vaughn Watson left the New England Revolution’s preseason camp on Wednesday morning headed for international duty, head coach Jay Heaps had one simple request.

Take it easy on Juan Agudelo.

The lighthearted comment was made in jest, but Heaps will undoubtedly be an interested onlooker on Friday night when Agudelo and the U.S. National Team host Watson’s Jamaica at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee (7 p.m. ET, FS1 and UniMas).

Teammates at the club level, Agudelo and Watson will be opponents for 90 minutes on Friday, and for the USMNT it’s a last chance to gear up for a pair of critical World Cup qualifiers in late March.

“It’s exciting to have two guys at the international level playing a pretty big friendly in the sense that both teams have a lot at stake in the next couple months,” Heaps said.

Watson spent a week with the Revs in Casa Grande, Arizona, before joining up with Jamaica, but Agudelo has been in camp with the U.S. since January 10, training for almost three weeks before making a late cameo in the USMNT’s 0-0 draw with Serbia on Tuesday.

While it means that Agudelo will miss the entirety of the Revs’ first preseason trip, it’s of little concern to Heaps, who’s confident that the experience the 24-year-old forward gains in national team camp will prove beneficial not only to Agudelo, but to the rest of the Revs, as well.

“If you have six, seven or eight guys away from the group, then it can be disruptive to the group in terms of what you’re doing here,” Heaps said. “But for one guy, Juan, for the amount of training he’s getting, for the experience he’s getting, we know he’s going to bring that back to us and make us better.

“We’re thrilled. We want more guys in January camp and to be in the national team program, and not just for the U.S., but for other teams around the world.”