March 26, 2011
SOME WORDS OF WISDOM
U.S. teammates give some their impressions, advice to Agudelo, Ream
By Michael Lewis
|Several U.S. international teammates feel Juan Agudelo has a bright future.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
East Rutherford, N.J. -- For the first time since they were called up to the U.S. National Team, Red Bulls defender Tim Ream and forward Juan Agudelo have trained with the European-based players.
BigAppleSoccer.com on Thursday asked some of their international teammates about their impressions of the Red Bulls players prior to Saturday’s international friendly with Argentina at the New Meadowlands Arena.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard, a former MetroStar
He's a treat to watch. He's a young player. He's electric. He's very cool in front of the goal for a young kid. His finishing is fantastic. You forget how young he is. The hype machine is going to be rolling, if it hasn't already. It's a good thing. you don't want to stop that. But i think the important part is that a kid like him in particular is making sure that his feet are down on the floor, he's got good people around him, whether that's agents, coaches, friends, family, good people around him who are keeping him on the straight and narrow. You look at the best players in the world. They don't do it once. They do it every week and they do it consistently. They ride the wave because there are going to be dips. There are going to be highs and lows. That's his challenge. But he's looked really good.
Forward Jozy Altidore, a former Red Bull
For a big guy, I think he's got good feet. He's also strong when he needs to be. He has all the qualities when you look at a successful player. He's humble. For us, I think he's going to be an important player be cause he can play in-between the lines, a player that can connect with strikers and midfielders. He has that ability. So, it's really refreshing to see him.
I just told him to have fun and to make sure it's all about the fun. I think the toughest things happen when you start to do well, people all of a sudden start to put a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. For him, I don't think he's going to focus on that right now. I think he's a guy who needs to be able to make mistakes. He needs to be able to sometimes fail because that's how you succeed. I just hope too pressure hasn't been placed on him too early so that it doesn't dent his growth.
When you start to do well, people place expectations on you and anything you do. His talent is so raw. He has these gifts. It's important that the people around him, the people at U.S. Soccer will just do a good job taking it off his shoulders and making sure he can try and fail and not have the whole world against him the next day. That's important for his development."
Forward Edson Buddle, a former Red Bull
I see similar things that I saw in Jozy when Jozy came to the Red Bulls. He's very composed. It seems like he's been there before. He's a very good player and its good to see him in person. he's going to be a quality player with the right support around him.
On some advice for Agudelo
I would just say do whatever he is doing. Just be humble and you'll go far.
Clint Dempsey, midfielder
He's a big guy, strong, fast. Can finish well. I thought he's done a good job this week in training. He's only 18 and he has a very bright future. I wish him the best. the more camps he's in and the more games he gets under his belt, he will continue to improve.
Defender Carlos Bocanegra, the U.S. captain
I heard a lot about him on the MLS website and things like this. They speak a lot about him. From what I've seen out of him, he's a strong, solid kid. He's really smart. He's got good technique. He puts himself in good position. The times I've been playing next to him or with him in training, he reads the game well. He has a good soccer brain. He's someone who is going to be around for a while. He's a good solid player.
I heard good things about him coming into this camp. Those are all true. He's a real good kid. He's got a good, solid head on his shoulders, as most good defenders do as by the nature of the position. He's performed pretty well in training. Sometimes you can't always get a great read. but for a lot of these young new guys, it's important that they're not just a flash in the pan. Being a flash in the pan is easy. Everyone does that. To get one cap means nothing. I don't mean out of respect for it. But the guys who are full of potential, it's important that they're beginning to get 10 and 20 and 30 caps. You can't do that in two weeks. My point is that you've got to be getting to build. It's too easy to have potential and have hype, come in, score a goal and just do something good and then fall by the wayside. Hundreds of players have done that. So I think the message to those guys is that 'You're here for a reason. You've done really well, particularly in their clubs.' So, they need to continue to rise, level by level.