By IVES GALARCEP
While one American player has already made the move from the English Premier League to Major League Soccer this summer, at least one American will be heading the other way very soon.
New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo has completed a pre-contract agreement with Stoke City, which means he will become a Potter after his current MLS contract expires on Dec. 31st, sources confirmed to SBI on Tuesday.
Players who have six months or less on an existing contract are allowed to sign pre-contract agreements (binding contracts) with new clubs, and Agudelo’s multi-year deal with Stoke City means he will be joining Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu on the Potters when the winter transfer period opens for business in January.
Sources have also told SBI that Stoke City and Agudelo are in talks with the Revs to bring Agudelo over to England sooner, a move which would likely require a modest transfer fee during the summer transfer window.
Agudelo is recovering from a knee sprain that has kept him out of the Revs lineup for the past seven weeks, but it appears now his days with New England may be over unless the Revolution decide to pass on transfer offers to let Agudelo leave early. The Revs might be inclined to pass on such a deal because, according to SBI sources, they only own a small percentage of his sale rights (with the New York Red Bulls still holding a large portion).
The 20-year-old Agudelo has had a modestly successful 2013 season, despite missing several matches due to injury. He has scored five goals in 11 combined matches with Chivas USA and the Revolution. He has missed the past seven Revs matches with a knee sprain and hasn’t seen the field since June 15th.
The one-time U.S. Men’s National Team player has fallen out of the national team picture while he sorts out his club career, though U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has repeatedly mentioned Agudelo as someone he continues to keep tabs on as a member of the national team pool.
Agudelo will be joining a Stoke City side that could see him as a speed forward replacement for retired English star Michael Owen. The Potters stable of forwards currently includes Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Cameron Jerome and Kenwyne Jones.
Agudelo’s move to from New England to the English Premier League will come seven years after another young Revs striker, Clint Dempsey, made a similar move. Though Dempsey has just recently returned to MLS, signing with Seattle, Agudelo would be joining Jozy Altidore as young American strikers in the EPL.
What do you think of this development? Excited to see Agudelo heading to the English Premier League? Think Stoke City is a good fit, or do you worry about the style of play the Potters play? See Agudelo forcing his way back into the national team picture in the next year?
Share your thoughts below.