Twitter exploded this afternoon when both team President Brian Bilello and player agent Ron Waxman confirmed that Chivas USA and American international striker Juan Agudelo has been acquired by the New England Revolution via intra-league trade. The price is apparently an undisclosed amount of allocation money. No official team or league press release has yet accompanied the announcement.
Agudelo, 20, burst onto the scene in 2010 as a teenager, making his professional debut for the New York Red Bulls before scoring a goal in his international debut for the United States senior national team in the same year. He had a productive 2011, scoring six goals in twelve starts (27 total appearances), but a dismal start to 2012 saw him traded to Chivas USA. Since moving to Los Angeles, he's scored five league goals in 20 starts (26 appearances).
The Colombian-born striker's 2013 performances and return of two goals and one assist in six appearances speak to a trend back in the right direction, and the Revs stand to benefit as he rounds back into the form that made him such a hot commodity a few seasons ago. Agudelo has the size, speed, and athleticism to play both the out-and-out goalscorer and the hybrid forward who links with midfield, meaning he could slot in immediately as either a foil/dynamic partner for Jerry Bengtson and/or Saer Sene, or lead the line himself if necessary.
There's heavy speculation that Agudelo will be expecting either a Designated Player-caliber contract offer or a move overseas when his contract is up at the end of the 2013 campaign, so it appears that the Revs have forked over some league cash for the chance to rent a young and exciting striker for two-thirds of the season. This isn't unwise at all. If he pans out, the Revolution retain his rights when he moves away from MLS or are in pole position to make a substantial contract offer, and if he doesn't, then very little was risked on him.
While he's a bit pricey at a guaranteed $175,000 in compensation for this year, a run of poor seasons has likely (these things are difficult to confirm in the opaque world of MLS) left the Revolution flush with allocation money to burn on bringing him in and/or buying down his contract. EDITOR'S UPDATE: Turns out his Homegrown status transfers, so he might be cap-free. Pretty sure that means Scott Caldwell now counts against the cap at $54,000 guaranteed compensation. However, his base salary is the league minimum $46,500, so he may not be a cap player regardless. It is unclear at the moment if Agudelo will join the team in time to suit up against Real Salt Lake tomorrow night, but one would assume he's got a solid chance of facing off against the club that brought him up on Saturday. We'll have more updates on the situation as information becomes available.
UPDATE: Agudelo will join the team later this week, per team press release.