Juan Agudelo is almost home. The 22-year-old forward is close to agreeing a deal that will see him return to Major League Soccer with the New England Revolution through to 2018 – the team he left to pursue his European dream, as Goal.com revealed at the start of the week.
It didn’t work out as Agudelo would have liked when he crossed the Atlantic to join Stoke City in January last year and the Potters had two work permit applications rejected for the USMNT striker.
He joined FC Utrecht on loan after joining Stoke in the hope that it would improve his chances of gaining a work permit, but that never happened and Agudelo has been without a club since May last year as a result.
The former New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA man has turned down offers from Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen, and more recently 1860 Munich, and is now in discussions with the Revs over what is expected to be a four-year contract.
At 22, Agudelo still has his whole career ahead of him and MLS is in much better shape just a year on from when he left, as are the New England Revolution.
Several USMNT stars have returned to MLS while global stars Steven Gerrard, Kaka, David Villa, Frank Lampard and Sebastian Giovinco will all join the league in 2015.
The Revs came so close to winning their first ever MLS Cup title in 2014 after being narrowly beaten by the LA Galaxy, but the return of Agudelo will undoubtedly strengthen the side.
Lee Nguyen was the hero last year, while Jermaine Jones’s arrival added so much solidity to the team, and having Agudelo up top will ensure the Revs remain a force to be reckoned with this year.
He is a player with bundles of talent, and confidence too as he showed in 2013 with a phenomenal backheel lob against the Chicago Fire.
Juan Agudelo backheel lob for New England Revolution (via MLS on YouTube):
Charlie Davis was the first-choice striker last season but he only managed three goals in 18 regular season appearances last term.
His form in the playoffs was much better as he netted four goals with one assist in five appearances, but the return of Agudelo is one that the Revs needed to bolster their attacking options.
Is a return to New England a good move for Juan Agudelo?