FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England general manager Michael Burns spent the past few weeks scouring the domestic and international markets for a forward to boost the Revolution attack.
He eventually turned up Juan Agudelo.
It took a few days of back-and-forth with Chivas USA to settle on the proper deal, but Burns and the Revs eventually secured the US international's services for an undisclosed amount of allocation money on Tuesday night.
Once those terms hit the table, Burns called it a “no-brainer” to bring Agudelo into the fold.
“We feel like he makes us a better team,” Burns told MLSsoccer.com. “It certainly helps us in the attack. He can score goals. He can set up goals. We're pretty excited.”
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It isn't every day that a MLS side manages to procure a 20-year-old player with significant MLS experience (11 goals in 59 appearances since signing with New York in 2010) and a budding international career (17 caps and two goals since his debut in Nov. 2010) without subtracting from the current roster.
Agudelo's vast array of skills – including his pace over the top and his work as a natural forward – made it an easy decision to add him to a group of forwards that already includes Chad Barrett, Jerry Bengtson, Diego Fagundez (currently deployed as a winger) and Saër Sène.
“He's not half-midfielder, half-forward,” Burns said. “He's a forward that can play up high, play underneath, is strong, can hold it up, can score. We feel like he's one of the better young forwards in this league. To be able to make this move from within the league is not always easy. We feel like we've just added a piece to the puzzle, for sure.”
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The move came with a caveat, however: Agudelo remains a target for a potential move overseas in the short- and the medium-term. His contract with MLS expires at the end of the season, a factor that could have contributed to his availability and may impact the output on the Revolution's end of the deal.
Burns said the club contemplated all of those potential factors before striking the trade. In this case, the Revs ultimately decided the opportunity to bolster the league's least prolific offense (four goals in eight games) with Agudelo warranted any modest risk inherent in the swap.
“There are lot of things that we had to consider,” Burns said. “I'm sure Chivas did, as well, but – to get a player like Juan and give up some allocation money – for us in the short-term and for at least this year, it was a no-brainer. It fit exactly what we were looking for.”