13. Juan Agudelo
Pos: F | Chivas USA | Age: 19
It’s been a roller-coaster season for the young phenom forward. He went from being a regular in senior US national team camp, an Olympic hopeful and Thierry Henry’s protégé to being traded, suffering his first serious injury and enduring a crushing Olympic elimination. The left knee setback suffered during CONCACAF qualifying for London was especially difficult, causing him to miss significant time. But Agudelo has been back to full health for the past month as Chivas USA hope he can help turn around their sputtering attack in a desperate push for the 2012 playoffs.
What the TDs and coaches like: “Good talent … Strong presence in the box … I don't think we've seen the best of Juan Agudelo. He's got athleticism to a degree, he's got pace, skill. He's got a lot of components and yet we quite haven't seen them all merged as one yet. So he would for me be on the watchlist to see how things progress. He's got tools, and now he needs to sort of mesh those tools together … He’s a good enough player with his pace and understanding of the game to be an opportunist in the box.”
Where the TDs and coaches want improvement: “He needs to make sure he brings his level as far as he can and even though he’s young he can find a leadership role as the next forward coming through … He needs games and patience, and guidance … Needs games to develop and be effective … Great future ahead of him, but need to improve his overall knowledge of the game, on and off the ball … He needs to be consistent with his game. Consistency is key for a young player … It’s pretty difficult to move from one team in your first trade and it’s difficult for the adjustment and you’re going to a team that’s struggling a little bit trying to find its identity and you’re probably playing with new players every other game.”
Opta Says: Only two players under 24 have more headed shots than Juan Agudelo (8) in MLS this year.
|Tale of the Tape|
|Last Year in 24U24: #2|
|Fan Ranking: #8|
|Castrol Index (as of 9/12/12): #124|
|Matches played: 16 (NY/CHV|
|Matches started: 12 (NY/CHV)|
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