Jeff Agoos is looking forward to a return to Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference in 2005. A trade executed between the San Jose Earthquakes and the MetroStars on Friday sent the 36-year-old defender to his third team in 10 seasons, but the five-time MLS Cup champion departs a club in unrest after the departure of several big-name players and uncertainty about its future.
"I'm excited. There's a lot of turmoil in San Jose that continues to be there this year with the life of the organization," said Agoos shortly after the move was announced. "My commitment (is) to win another championship and I feel that moving to New York is enabling me to do that."
An MLS original, Agoos said he feels he is still able to contribute and the Metros hope he will add a healthy dose of guidance to a side that struggled defensively in 2004.
"I hope that I can bring some leadership to the MetroStars," he said. "They've got some great young talent that I think can be an asset to winning a championship. My role will be just kind of settling in to see what needs to be done and trying to fill those holes and doing whatever I can to help New York win a championship."
Though Agoos has spent the past four seasons in San Jose, helping the Quakes to MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003, he is not totally unfamiliar with some of the personnel in place in the Big Apple. Head coach Bob Bradley served as an assistant coach under Bruce Arena with D.C. United, where Agoos spent the first five years in MLS. Also present during his three-championship stint in D.C. was Eddie Pope, who now serves as captain for the MetroStars and anchor of their back line. Agoos is eager to renew these partnerships in an effort to help bring the Metros a first-ever trip to MLS Cup, one of three teams in MLS (other than the expansion teams) never to have played for a title.
"We've got a pretty long history," said Agoos of Pope. "I think anybody would love to play next to Eddie. He's one of the best defenders in the country and I certainly enjoyed the time in D.C. watching him grow into a very mature and polished professional. I have seen that develop even more so when he was in New York.
"I'm very familiar with Bob. I know Bob going back to the college years when he was at Princeton, so we have a long history. We were only able to work at a professional level for a year or two but I look forward to working with him and Mo (Johnston) and the whole coaching staff in New York."
A whirlwind of activity has begun for Agoos since the trade talk has begun. The whole process was very fast and he has already started the logistical planning that goes into a move such as this one. A date of arrival has not yet been selected, but Agoos says he expects to move in the very near future.
"I'm going to spend time with my family for the holidays," said Agoos, "but the majority of time will be spent packing everything up and getting ready to move up north. We've got quite a task ahead of us.
"My wife and family is from the New York area and we couldn't be more happy than to be playing at the Meadowlands for the MetroStars. Of all the Major League Soccer cities I think that New York is one of the best cities to play in and I certainly think that the talent on this team can win a first championship here."
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.