24 Under 24: #6 Juan Agudelo, New England Revolution
6. Juan Agudelo
Pos: F | New England Revolution | Age: 20
He might not be in MLS much longer, but Agudelo is deserving of his high mark on this list. A technically gifted forward with US national team experience and an ability for the extraordinary, Agudelo is as dangerous an offensive player as there is on this list. The soon-to-be Stoke City striker has dealt with his share of injuries, but he still has a high ceiling given that he is only 20 years old. Agudelo is also a dark horse to make it onto Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster for the World Cup next summer and, given all the depth the Americans currently have up top, that says quite a bit about his talent.
What TDs and coaches like: "On the positive side, the guy's a natural player. Technically, he's well above average. He's got a nose for the goal, he's calm in front of goal, and he finishes well. ... He’s kind of had some injuries here and there, but he is clearly an attacking threat. When he’s healthy, every team he’s been on he’s been excellent for. ... Young player with lots of technical abilities. ... He can score goals, he can play with his back to goal, he’s strong, intelligent in protecting the ball. ... He gets into good spots. ... He needed a younger team where there's less pressure, and he's become a very important player that has made the Revs dangerous in transition play. ... He puts pressure on the opposition's defense.”
Where TDs and coaches want improvement: "He still has to grow mentally and as a professional. He can learn a lot more. ... He can still improve his movement, the timing of his runs. ... He just needs to do what a lot of young players need to do: be more consistent about how he does it game in and game out. ... On the downside, something he needs to improve on is probably consistency over time and over the 90 minute game. That's what you get from, I don't want to say a high-risk player, but a guy who's creative in that way. You're going to get some inconsistencies because he's going to try some things that don't always come off all the time, but those things come with experience."
Opta Says: Juan Agudelo leads all players eligible for 24 Under 24 with a 50 percent shot-conversion rate during 2013 (minimum two goals).
|Tale of the Tape|
|Last Year in 24U24: 13|
|Castrol Index (as of 9/19/13): #101|
|Matches played: 9|
|Matches started: 7|
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