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Juan Agudelo’s massive moment

May 17, 2012, 5:50 PM EDT

Houston Dynamo v New York Red Bulls Getty Images

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Juan Agudelo wanted out of the New York Red Bulls.

And to that, I say: Good on ya, mate. Or something equally British and soccer-y.

I’m on the record liking the trade from a NYRB perspective, and I still agree with myself. (Sometimes it gets weird late in the day at the PST office. Like now. Anyhow…) Ultimately, this is a better deal for NYRB.

But… it also presents young Juan with quite an opportunity. Chivas USA is terrible offensively, so he’ll find playing time quickly. Instead of languishing on the bench behind Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry, he can work out his game on the field. It will be slow. It will be painful, though not as tough as recovering from knee surgery. Ultimately, however, it might be just the thing Agudelo needs to take the next step.

The forward stalled in New York. He has to stay focused, stay hungry, stay prepared at Chivas. He can do that, though, especially with the help of Juan Pablo Angel and Robin Fraser. It’s tough to leave New York, but Los Angeles ain’t such a bad place to be. Especially when the Left Coast offers such massive opportunity.

Agudelo found himself in no man’s land in NYC. Credit him for recognizing the situation and finding a way out. (And credit to Soler and the gang for making it happen.) That’s a mature decision. That maturity will serve him well as he embarks on the next phase of what could — and should — be a very strong career domestically and internationally.

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