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Revolution v. Sporting KC: Three Thoughts

This Juan Agudelo belongs on the USMNT, and two more thoughts.

MLS: Sporting KC at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution kept their playoff hopes alive on Saturday by defeating Sporting KC 3-1. Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo each had a goal and assist on a night where the Revs’ attack was free-flowing. Here are three thoughts from the win.

  1. This Juan Agudelo belongs on the US National Team. Although he’s only 23 years old, it’s safe to say that Agudelo’s career has been a bit puzzling. The New York Red Bulls Homegrown captured imaginations in 2010 when he scored the game-winner in the USMNT’s victory over South Africa. A few years later, Agudelo was traded to Chivas USA, where he struggled to stay healthy and find his form. A move to the Revs sparked a career renaissance, which prompted interest from Stoke City. Agudelo would never play for the English side and instead spent time on loan with FC Utrecht in Holland. Agudelo re-signed with the Revs in 2015. Although he’s had bright moments since then, nothing compares to his recent form, during which he has collected three goals and two assists in five outings. Agudelo has looked like a confident and motivated man, and that’s the type of player you want on the national team.
  2. The formation change is working. Head coach Jay Heaps should be praised for introducing various incarnations of the 4-5-1. It was a formation that got the best out of the Revs’ roster and one that soon became a trend throughout MLS. That said, Heaps held on to the formation for too long before recently switching to a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield. That said, the switch has worked, as the Revs have looked dangerous offensively and composed defensively. Against SKC, Heaps decided to use Agudelo in a deeper position, another move that was brought success.
  3. It’s going to be tough for the Revs to qualify for the post-season. Currently sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, the Revolution still have a shot at making the playoffs, but they’re going to need some help. Their final two games are certainly winnable, as they travel to the Chicago Fire, who are last in the league, before welcoming the enigma that is the Montreal Impact. Even winning those games won’t be enough, however, since D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union are currently ahead of the Revs.