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Huge blow for Agudelo as second try for work permit reportedly fails

May 9, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT

Agudelo Getty Images

Stoke City have failed in their work permit appeal for US international Juan Agudelo, according to widespread reports.

Agudelo had his first attempt rejected back at the end of 2013 likely due to a lack of national team appearances, and Stoke announced they were signing him anyways, having been “shocked” by the rejection.

They sent him on loan to Dutch side FC Utrecht, where he has struggled over the course of his four months there, and this news likely means his contract with both clubs will be voided.

Agudelo had just three goals for Utrecht in 14 appearances, and while his late form with two goals in his last three matches helped the club avoid relegation from the Eredivisie, overall he was a disappointment, going eight matches without scoring at one point and losing his spot temporarily.

Not only is the rejection a big blow to the 21-year-old’s attempts to play abroad, but is also a message from the UK to the United States that it will be very unlikely for a non-regular starter on the US international squad to play in the Premier League who doesn’t also possess dual citizenship.

This news comes just a day after FA chairman Greg Dyke announced the commission will likely look to redo the work permit system in order to promote development of English players in the league.

Agudelo left Major League Soccer in January for Stoke City after the expiration of his contract with the New England Revolution.  He will now be a free agent.

  1. rgledz - May 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    What a load of crap. It shouldn’t matter what country you’re from. If a player is good enough, than they should be allowed to play……English or not. Sounds pretty discriminatory if you ask me.

  2. rphillish - May 10, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    This is a tough break for Agudelo and for one of the more promising future American talents, but that said I don’t necessarily disagree with what the English FA is doing. It’s nice for your domestic league to be loaded with international superstars and be recognized globally for it’s level of play. However, I think you also have an obligation to develop talent in your own backyard for international competitions. There’s an element of trying to please the fans here too; Many fans blame the state of the EPL for their failures on the international stage, and, for better or for worse, the FA’s job is to please the fans.

    What I’m curious to know, is Agudelo the only one caught in the middle as the FA tightens rules, or is he just the only one we’re hearing about here in the US? I hope there are several players from all over the world struggling to get their work permits cleared, and not just the American.

    Hope things work out in the end for the guy. For his sake and the USMNT’s.

  3. twerkslikeMiley - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Give the Bundesliga a shot.

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