Thursday, May 16, 2013
Agudelo hopefully close to playing
By Brian O'Connell
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Juan Agudelo was well aware of the situation in New England when the Revolution acquired him from Chivas USA last week.
Prior to the deal, the Revolution had only scored four goals in their first eight games, and were in dire need of an offensive catalyst to point the attack in the right direction.
But even though the club parted with an undisclosed amount of allocation cash for his services (a sort of intra-league transfer, if you will), the 20-year-old Agudelo doesn’t feel that the burden of reviving the offense falls entirely on his shoulders.
Juan Agudelo hasn't played in a game yet for the Revs.
“I know it’s a team that has a lot of potential and has a lot of great players,” Agudelo said after training on Wednesday. “I feel like (with) the results they’ve gotten, a lot of the ties they’ve come up with (could’ve been) wins.”
One such tie occurred last weekend against the Red Bulls. Only a minute after Diego Fagundez scored the opening goal, the game was leveled when Lloyd Sam tallied and the Revolution were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Although a nagging hamstring injury kept Agudelo from stepping onto the field in that game, there’s reason to believe that he’ll be available on Saturday at Houston. He says his hamstring “feels great,” and that he’s putting in the work on the practice field.
“I’ve been training almost double (the amount) as the guys who’ve been playing,” Agudelo said. “I feel like (the hamstring) is better than it’s been in awhile.”
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps also believes that Agudelo could contribute when the team steps onto the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Dynamo.
“Today was a really good test, it’s our hard day of the week,” Heaps said of Agudelo’s training session on Wednesday. “We’ll take it day by day, (but) he looked pretty good.”
Since arriving late last week, Agueldo’s has quickly taken to training with his new teammates, and seems re-energized by the opportunity to learn their habits and tendencies on the field.
“It’s awesome just to get to know and to see how guys like to play and how they like to receive the ball,” Agudelo said. “It’s fun (getting the) understanding (of playing with them). It’s almost like reading.”
Another thing Agudelo has embraced about playing in New England is the contrast in coaching styles.
At Chivas USA, Agudelo had to contend with the opinionated and demanding Jose Luis Sanchez Sola -- a.k.a. “Chelis” -- whom Agudelo with a laugh, jokingly called “crazy.” Now, Agudelo doesn’t find himself looking over his shoulder and having to wonder where he stands in the eyes of the coaching staff.
“I’ve only been here for about a week,” Agudelo said. “But Jay’s been very helpful and telling me where my position is.”
There’s little doubt that Heaps is going to ask Agudelo to do what he’s already done to earn himself 17 caps with the U.S. National Team: create offense and score goals.
And while the talented Agudelo has never made his desire of playing abroad a secret, his short-term goals appear to be local rather than international.
“Just help the team make the playoffs, that’s my main objective,” Agudelo said. “Any way I can help the team, whether it’s getting assists, scoring goals, or coming off the bench.”