Soler: Agudelo pushed for trade

Agudelo (getty images)


When the time came to pull a trigger on a trade sending away Juan Agudelo, the ultimate push to make a trade happen came from none other than Agudelo himself.

That is the contention of team General Manager Erik Soler as he discussed the details of the young striker’s trade to Chivas USA for defender Heath Pearce, allocation money and future considerations.

“First and foremost, I think it’s important to state that the initiative for this trade was not in our hands,” Soler told reporters.  “We had conversations with Juan for a long period of time about his future and development. “

Soler cited Agudelo’s health and long term prospects with the team as a reason for his steady paced developmental but was also quick to point out that the young striker had started the first game of the season against FC Dallas after barely participating in the team’s preseason due to injury issues.

Agudelo's frustration with a lack of playing time dated back to last season, with U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann recently revealing that Agudelo had raised concerns about his status with the Red Bulls.

There have been rumblings for a long time about Hans Backe not rating Agudelo highly, and the team's decision to trade for Kenny Cooper in the off-season seemed to suggest the team wasn't ready to make Agudelo a starter in 2012.

“It had become clear that he thought that his chance to develop as a player would maybe get better chances if he played somewhere else," Soler said. "We still don’t think that’s the case, but sometimes when you work in this sport you have to put on larger glasses.”

“We want to support Juan but he wants to try something new and we’ll give him that opportunity,” Soler continued.  “We had numerous people calling us from the league about Juan, and we had turned everybody down for a long time. But in the end, when it became clear that he really wanted to try something else, and Hans and I discussed it, we don’t want to be anywhere close to giving him less opportunity than what he wants himself.”

Among the teams that had previously shown interest in Agudelo was Chivas USA, who ultimately became his final suitor. 

When the right opportunity arose to pull the trigger, the Red Bulls General Manager pointed to the recent form of Kenny Cooper for helping facilitate the move.  “We have a pair of strikers that are working fantastic at the moment,” he said.  “To be a backup player is not good enough for Juan and we understand that.  He would have been a starter in the games coming up after (the season opener against FC Dallas), but then he left for the National Team, came back with an injury and in that time, Kenny Cooper did what he did. He turned out a great player for us.”

In Heath Pearce, Soler hopes to address many of the team’s pressing issues.  With Teemu Tainio out of the lineup for the next two months or more, and the state of Wilman Conde’s health up in the air, Pearce may be looked at to fill one of many positions on the pitch.   

“We have a situation with Wilman Conde where he’s been out injured for a long time. We don’t want to push him, so he (Pearce) can play as a left central defender,” he said.  “Roy Miller has an issue with his knee, so he can play (at left back). And of course young Connor Lade had done fantastic. And he’s a left fullback that can also go further up the field, so it gives us another option. Heath Pearce can play right fullback, he can do that well.  We think he can certainly play central midfield as a defensive holding guy if we want to put Rafa Marquez somewhere else, or play Dax McCarty higher up the pitch. Defensively I think already we will see how Hans chooses to play Heath Pearce. We will see very quickly that he will help us in that part of our game.”

As for Agudelo, Soler took a realistic approach in analyzing his future with the team had the trade not been made.  “I am convinced that Juan at one time will go to Europe, and of course we are ultimately in a position to financially have a gain if that should happen. But I think that should be in a few years time from now, but I really hope he does get the chance to go to the right club.

“The only thing I can say is, I really hope in his career he scores 250 goals for Chivas. They only meet us once a year if they don’t come through to the final. I hope he doesn’t score too many against us anyway, but that’s all you can do. He’s a young, lovely kid that I really like, and I really wish all the best for him, and I’m sure he’ll do fine. “

This entry was posted in MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Soler: Agudelo pushed for trade

  1. Andy says:

    Good for him. He needed to get out of that situation.

  2. Patrick says:

    He always seemed like he was still a “kid” but this move by him, screams maturity. Itd be interesting to hear how much of this came from the conversation he had with JK. Smething tells me JK told him to get out however he could. All in all a good move for everyone involved. Red bulls get cap space and a solid defender, Juan gets some PT and chives gets a great young player who will either be there for a while, or be sold for a nice chunk of change

  3. I would like to see a Juan Pablo Angle and Agudelo tandem.

  4. MLS MVP lets see if Juan can make it 2 for 2.

  5. ec says:

    I don’t blame Agudelo. If all this is true, then it seems like he’s handled it maturely so far, but I hope he has good things to say now that it’s gone public.

  6. chris says:

    Good for Juan to have some balls to get away from that team

  7. somedude says:

    how soon till Connor Lade gets cut, traded, fired?

  8. josh says:

    Glad he pushed for it. He wants to go to Europe and play on the National Team. He needs playing time to make a Kljestan-like transition.

  9. ec says:

    This is my favorite part of it, I love it when MLS teams that I had no interest in watching before suddenly become interesting. NE is another team in that category this year.

    I think the trade even makes NY better too, since it really never seemed like Backe was too interested in him.

  10. Neumannator says:

    I feel better for him already. I will watch their games now!

  11. chris says:

    yeah kind of sad very few home grown players are getting the playing time they need

  12. drew11 says:

    I feel better too because the trade increased the value of my MLS Live subscription.

  13. Thorpinski says:

    one day the NYRB will look back and wonder why they didn’t trade the coach.

  14. Arsenalkid700 says:

    [Please state reason for that here] (If you have no reason then congratulations, you have joined the bandwagon of NY Red Bulls fans who hate the coach for the sake of hating the coach.

  15. WeatherManNX01 says:

    Good for him. There’s only so far you can develop sitting on an MLS bench.

    Plus, how great is it that Chivas is on ESPN2 this week? Now I’m actually interested in the match.

  16. DingDong says:

    Erik Soler actually comes off a lot better than most fans (including me) give him credit for in this interview.

  17. chris says:

    Now that i think about it i remember reading somewhere that juan agudelo has not that long left on his contract. Does anybody know his contract length? If he leaves on a free transfer in January then the Red Bulls get f*cked even more

  18. Rabid RBNY says:

    I thought the same thing.

  19. Andy says:

    NYRB are the Chelsea of the MLS. Bad ownership, poor managing, underachievement, and no homegrown talent.

  20. Jason says:

    He is signed to 2013 and red bull retains 75% of a future transfer fee.

  21. Byrdman says:

    How bout repeated under performing with a lot of talent. How bout not seeing the big picture, and developing talent for the long haul, even though Juan will be looking at Europe.

  22. Rlw2020 says:

    NY has had some of the most homegrown talent of any team from howard, bradley, jozy, agudelo, eddie gaven. Not all came from their academy but alot of NJ players have had their starts there

    The rest of ur statement is true

  23. slowleftarm says:

    Um you know Chelsea won the Premier League three times right? They’re also in the Champions League final this season for the second time in five years and have won several FA cups.

  24. usa says:

    looks like somebody started following the EPL in 2012

  25. This Was Actually A Good Move for New York says:

    1 – He has the best record of any NY coach so far. 2 – This is a win-now move (which is what New York is built to do) and the big picture is that he’ll be special down the road but will be sold to Europe then, and NYRB will get a hefty chunk of that. 3 – It also sures up the worst part of our team, the defense, with a proven USMNT (over 30 caps) defender. 4 – Repeated underperforming… won the East in his first year, lost to the eventual champs in the playoffs in the second year.

    I could go on but basically this is the first time as a NYRB fan im actually happy with Soler and Backe’s move. It hurts because Agudelo was a fan-favorite, but we have #2 and #3 in scoring, Henry will be back by the end of May. This is good for NYRB, good for Juan, good for Chivas, good for Pearce… no losers.

    Anddddd the Allocation Money will go to a Young DP if what Ives’ Tweeted this morning is true which will be a great boon.

    So ya.

  26. Way to Call him on it says:

    lol so true… its not like theyve won the FA Cup 4 times in 6 years, or been in the CL final twice in 4 years, or been battling ManU for supremacy ever since Abramovich bought them (and before).

  27. Way to Call him on it says:

    woops 5 years, 2 CL finals.

  28. Scott A says:

    Not really the team’s fault that he was the 3rd best forward on the team.

  29. Neruda says:

    “…if they don’t come through to the final.” Agudelo and Chivas can only play NY two times if they both make it to the final, which will never happen. You can expect to see New York’s second team (Cosmos) in an MLS Cup before NYRB. And Chivas in a final? Robin Fraser is a good coach but he can’t work that many miracles.

  30. Syd says:

    4th when Luke returns

  31. Larry says:

    Agudelo > Barrett + Crisman

  32. Fifo says:

    Youngsters Agudelo and Correa to go with solid vets JPA and Moreno. This is one of the better striking groups in the league.

  33. Soccer Man says:

    Keep up with the game much?

  34. Sack O' Onions says:

    This is an affront to proper footy culture! Red Bull is corporate energy drink football! Hans Backe hates Americans! Look at how he treated two potential homegrown superstars in Matt Kassel & Sacir Hot! This is a disgrace! And trust me! I’m a lawyer! I’m smarter than all of you combined! If I say it, it must be true! This is AN AFFRONT TO PROPER FOOTBALL!!!

  35. MiamiAl says:

    Although I think this is a good trade for both teams, Hans Backe will not be back next year.

  36. Brain Guy says:

    gudelo will have some success this year, and some more success next year. He will be gone on a transfer next summer or after the 2013 season. Chivas has rented him for a year or so. RBNY needed defense more than his offense for that stretch of time. The problem with home-grown talent is that when they get good they want to leave.

  37. Eurosnob says:

    And it was not really the team’s fault when DeRo was their 5th best midfielder last year. Oh, wait, he became the league’s MVP after being traded to DCU.

  38. agnigrin says:


  39. Rory says:

    Not really… it just means you’ll see “Video not availible” much more often.

  40. Amit says:

    Actually, if he leaves on a free transfer the Red Bulls did a good job of cashing in before losing him for nothing

  41. Eugene says:

    Agudelo’s best bet is to go to the Netherlands where he can really learn to be a striker, make smart runs, play simpler, improve his frequency of scoring.

    At 19 years old, this kid is more prima donna than producer.

  42. The Imperative Voice says:

    The high water mark of NY postseason success remains the Osorio era, when they made the final. Backe to me wastes an incredible amount of talent that’s passed through his roster — MVPs, Angel, etc. — and his overall results aren’t much better than Arena’s, who didn’t have the same talent level.

    If you go through his history, he’s had limited success since he left Denmark, and has coached a lot of mediocre teams, period.

    Also, to me an indicator that something is off is present in his all star selections, anyone who thinks that Ashe is a leading back in the league has his talent meter busted.

    Big picture, it boils down to the fact it’s a multi-DP team that doesn’t get the same results as LA with a similar level of backing. They are not even necessarily better than teams like KC and Houston in their conference who have smaller market approaches. If you handed Houston NY’s midfield we’d win titles; if we handed NY our midfield Backe would be at the bottom of the table.

  43. The Imperative Voice says:

    As much as the trade reflects “stuck on stupid” for Backe — I can see why Agudelo might want it — the bigger symptom of insanity is Rafa hanging around. Agudelo is a cheap attacker of promise who is 19; Rafa is an expensive player who rarely delivers.

    Anyone know if Rafa has tenure or any other guarantee on his deal? Because when we get to the DP level it’s like, I could literally have anyone in that space at the same cap hit, and a malcontent is nowhere near how I’d spend a blank check. Big difference between LA and NY is Bex, Landon, and Keane generally deliver, even if they are probably overpaid per actual production when compared to someone like Henry or Wondo.

  44. beachbum says:

    lmao!!! beat me to it man :)

  45. Eddie says:

    Completely agree. I think it’s funny people keep trying to claim Hans has been a success. Best record? Who cares? He has had the most talent to work with and has pissed away chances to win something, anything through his own short-sighted decisions.

    So glad Marquez is still here, by the way.

  46. EN says:

    I like this move for one reason: it gives Agudelo more playing time which’ll wind up benefiting the USMNT (assuming he gets another call-up, of course).

  47. Confused says:


  48. Marquez to Chivas USA would be cool

  49. Would like to see an article on why the Netherland club teams aren’t as good as they used to be. I remember when AJAX was doing quite well in European football. Lots of talent still comes from the Netherlands, but are the teams just that poor financially?

  50. DCLee says:

    Agreed. I would flip by and stop on Chivas game just to hope they had a decent crowd but now I’m honestly interested in seeing how Robin Fraser uses his new lineup. If Califf pans out then they could form into a good second half team and even better next season. LaBrocca will give Agudelo plenty of opportunities up front.

    If Chivas’ owner Vergera would ever spend a little money and bring in a decent Mexican DP then this franchise could really take off. They’ve had some semi solid talent over the past 3-5 years with Sacha, Guzan Bornstein and now with guys like LaBrocca, Kennedy, JPA and Agudelo. They just need a marketable big name DP signing and they could really gain a foothold in LA.

  51. DCLee says:

    Yeah. I swear Galavision has it in their contract to show as many Chivas games as possible. They are on that network that not many people have ever other weekend it seems.

  52. The Other Bryan Lewis says:

    Late in the game to this, but my feeling after watching him these last seasons is that Aguedelo does not have nearly the work rate to be a successful starter . . . Yet. He looks amazing in 20 minute stints at the end of games, but when he is in for 90 minutes he completely disappears. He was unable to find any kind of chemistry with Henry or Rodgers, and hasn’t shown himself to be a great distributer. He is an incredible athletic talent for “reaction” goals/shots, but can’t create for himself or others in the half-court.

    Any of what i just said make sense? Ah, who cares, I am hours late on this.

  53. ThaDeuce says: