The trade made by the New England Revolution with Chivas USA to land Juan Agudelo was, for lack of better hyperbole, an Earth-shattering move. It was not the first big move made by the Revs using allocation this year, lest we forget they also traded up in the draft to select Andrew Farrell.
This is a time for excitement; however, as with most sporting related reactions, once the immediate jubilation has cleared, it is best to take stock of what kind of move this really is. The guys at The Bent Musket sat down to give their reaction to the trade using our scientific - totally not arbitrary and personal in any way - system that we use for game player ratings.
In this scenario, a 1 would be a terrible move where the Revs were ripped off, a 5 would be an average MLS move where no one really wins, and a 10 would be an absolute game changer. Here's what we said about this move made by the Revs' FO:
I love this move on a number of levels. His Homegrown contract doesn't count against the cap, he's a striker who can create and score, and at 20, he's young and has a lot of room to continue developing. The fact that his contract situation makes this move essentially a 2/3 season rental cuts into the youth thing a little bit, but if he goes overseas the Revs will retain his rights, and if he has a good year, they'll have the first opportunity to offer him a favorable contract. He's not the piece that's going to put the Revs in MLS Cup contention, but he's a good piece, and it's a cheap, low-risk move that makes the Revs look a lot more dangerous.
Agudelo isn't necessarily in form and is currently out of favor in the USMNT. But credit goes to the Front Office to actively working to repair the broken element of this club currently: its attack.
We've finally found a formation that creates space for our most creative players to operate in the most dangerous part of the park. Does Agudelo's availability change that? In a 4-1-4-1, does he spell Jerry Bengtson or do we modify into a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 to get our best attackers in? A 4-3-3 featuring a combination up top of Saer Sene-Bengston-Agudelo or Diego Fagundez sounds dangerous on paper, but so didn't a Shalrie Joseph and Benny Feilhaber central midfield.
I hope this move focuses Diego to a wide role, which is where I prefer him. From a business end, it's a great move. Agudelo is 20 years old with a ton of experience under his belt. The fact that he's trained with European clubs in the off season means the door for a possible transfer is open, which could net some coin for Emperor Kraft. I can't really criticize this move. The attack is sputtering, Jerry is being underutilized, so we pay some MLS funny money to Chivas to get a young, dynamic player who has high potential. Low risk, high reward.
It's an absolute middle of the road move. It's certainly a low-risk situation, given that it was just allocation money given up, but you have to wonder if there is an end-game scenario to all of this. Most folks are saying "well if he doesn't work out the Revs will just get money from selling him". Well, that's great, but if he doesn't work out, I'm gonna go ahead and assume he didn't play up to our standards, which begs the question: if you can't star on a terrible team, how much money are you going to command in transfer talks?
Happy to see the ambition. Cautiously optimistic about the end game. Just want him to help us win games. I'm just tired of the revolving door at striker on this team. Runstrom, Moreno, Brettschneider, Lekic, etc. The list goes on.
He's the type of guy you build your franchise around. Young, international experience, dynamic. I just hope he's more than a rental.
This is huge for the Revs and I truly applaud [Revoluton President] Brian Bilello and [General Manager] Mike Burns for making it happen. It's a low-risk, high-reward move and one that I can really get behind. In the big picture, it seems to me that the Revs front office essentially used the allocation money they got from SKC for Benny Feilhaber and put it towards getting Agudelo. Patience is a virtue, I suppose. The fact that his homegrown status transfers is a huge plus as well, and I believe he has every reason to perform well and push for minutes and goals if he wants to get onto Jurgen Klinsmann's good side for the Gold Cup, and possibly even the World Cup.
I question if this acquisition will force Heaps to change his new 4-1-4-1 formation, or at least tinker with it. Once Sene is healthy, it sure seems like it's going to be hard to keep the trio of Sene, Bengtson, and Agudelo off the field. However it pans out, I love this and think it is a really smart move. I'm highly optimistic.
I loved the move till I read Abram's tweets about his injury and his desire to be a DP and such. Still like it, though, as it gives competition to Jerry, brings in a striker who can create and score, and maybe now we won't miss incredibly easy chances. Plus the speed, can't forget the speed.
This, in theory, fixes a lot of problems: goal scoring, service for Jerry, willingness to take shots. However, the guy is currently injured, could potentially miss a lot of summer for the Gold Cup, allegedly wants DP money, and is out of contract at the end of the season. He is a big name in MLS, even if his potential has been unfulfilled. He does not cost a thing because of his Homegrown status, but if he does get sold out of the league part of that money - I believe - still goes to New York.
Could this move be a bit of a "game-changer"? Yes. This could ideally be a huge move for New England. Probably one of the better ones they've recently made. The new FO is doing what they set out to do: shaking things up a bit. But ultimately, the quality of this move is going to depend on how or if the Revs can structure a new deal for him.
Average Trade Rating: 7 (Steve, 8; Brendan, 7.5; Matty, 5; Cory, 8; Travis, 7; Abram, 6.5)