On Friday, both the Revolution and Stoke City of the English Premier League confirmed that Juan Agudelo will leave MLS on January 1. Agudelo, who recently signed a pre-contract with Stoke City, will be able to finish the season with the Revolution before departing for England.
“Juan is a talented player and he has put himself into a position to have options abroad at the end of his MLS contract this December," the Revolution said in a statement.
We always knew there was a possibility he would choose to explore these opportunities when we traded for him earlier this year, and we’re happy for Juan that he has earned this opportunity at Stoke."
Agudelo will be the third player in Revolution history to make a move to the English Premier League, following Joe-Max Moore and Clint Dempsey. He will join fellow US national teamers Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea, and Maurice Edu at Stoke City, who have more American players than any other team in the EPL.
“We’ve put a lot of work into this deal, and I am delighted that we have managed to get the deal over the line," said Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes.
“It’s a good deal for us, because he is a very good young player who boasts a lot of talent as well as a lot of potential too."
The Revolution signed Agudelo in May from Chivas USA for allocation money. Though the 20-year old, Colombian-born striker went to a new team, Hughes said he didn't abandon hope in signing Agudelo.
“I have kept my eye on him for the last 18 months, and thankfully we were in a position where we were able to pull this deal off,” added Hughes.
Rumors regarding Agudelo's departure from New England started to sound less like rumors at practice on Wednesday when he revealed that he signed "something." Despite his impending departure, Agudelo says that he will have no trouble remaining focused on the Revolution as he finishes up the season.
"The Revolution is awesome. I'm going to play for whoever team is on my contract right now. Right now, 110 percent, my focus is on getting healthy and playing with the Revolution."
Agudelo has been nursing a knee sprain for the last few weeks, but could see some playing time on Saturday when the Revolution take on Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. It would be Agudelo's first game since June 15.
The Revolution have gone 3-3-1 without Agudelo and 3-1-1 when he plays. Statistics show that the Revolution have a lot to gain from having Agudelo on the field against Kansas City in this crucial game.
"We’re looking forward to his return to the field with us for the remainder of the season as soon as he is back and fit from his recent injury,” concluded the Revolution's statement.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps said on Wednesday that whether or not Agudelo would play on Saturday would depend on what the medical staff said.
Agudelo's move means that the Revolution will have at least one forward to replace next year. But they may find a permanent replacement should Charlie Davies' loan from Randers, which was also announced on Friday, develop into a multi-year deal.
You can reach Julian at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @juliancardillo
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