March 25, 2010
HE'S THE JUAN
Agent: Agudelo signs with Red Bulls
By Michael Lewis
|Juan Agudelo, in second-half action against Santos last Saturday, became the second home-grown player talent signed by the Red Bulls.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Red Bulls always had the boy, but on Thursday night, they got their man.
Forward Juan Agudelo, considered the best player in the Red Bull Academy, signed with the Red Bulls, according to his New York City-based agent Ron Waxman.
The Barnegat, N.J., native has been playing and training with the team this pre-season.
Agudelo, 17, should be eligible to play for the Red Bulls in their MLS season opener against the Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena Saturday night.
As a home-grown talent, Agudelo will not count against the Red Bulls' 24-player roster.
He became the second player the Red Bulls signed under the homegrown player rule, joining forward Giorgi Chrigadze of Brooklyn, N.Y., who signed with the club last summer.
"He and his family are very happy that he is joining the Red Bulls," Waxman told BigAppleSoccer.com Thursday night. "I would like to thank Erik Soler and everyone at RBNY for all the hard work they put in to make this happen."
The Red Bulls could not be reached for comment.
After Agudelo set up the winning goal in the Red Bulls' 2-1 exhibition win over Stromsgodset IF (Norway) in La Manga, Spain, Red Bulls sporting director and general manager Erik Soler said: "We really liked him," Soler said. "He's a good kid as a person and a very good talent."
Agudelo also scored two goals and created two others in a 6-0 win over the U.S. Under-17 National Team on Feb. 17.
He also played the second half of the Red Bulls' 3-1 victory over Santos FC (Brazil) in the grand opening match at RBA Saturday night. Agudelo replaced the injured Carl Robinson at halftime.
Agudelo, who is equally at home as a midfielder or forward, has been a member of the U.S. Under-17 and U-20 National Teams.
"As a player, all the hard work I did with the youth, it's starting to show and pay off," he told Red Bull Reader last month. I'm just glad the Red Bulls gave me a chance to show what I got and show my gift."