Agudelo fulfills childhood dream by signing with NYRB

The 17-year-old has been a member of the club's academy since '07

The Red Bulls did
not let this one get away.

New York announced
the signing of 17-year-old forward Juan Agudelo on Friday.  The Colombian
native had a strong preseason and is considered the top prospect of the Red
Bulls’ youth academy.

Agudelo joins
Giorgi Chirgadze as homegrown players on the club's 2010 roster. League rules
allow for two such spots which do not count toward the salary budget or 24-man
roster limit. Agudelo, a former U.S. U-17 player and current member
of the U-20 pool, came on as a substitute in the Red Bull Arena opener against
Santos on March 20.

Prospects in prior
years had escaped the club. Agudelo had previously trialed with Colombian club
Millonarios. However, he opted for New York, where he has been a member of the
youth academy since 2007.

"It's amazing,
because yesterday when I was signing the papers I was thinking now it's
official,'' Agudelo told the New York Post. "Now I'm with this team for
four years, and this is something I wanted to be since I was little and now
it's official.''

Part of his
arrangement with the Red Bulls is that they will assist him in continuing his
education. It will be well worth it for the Red Bulls if Agudelo’s on-field
potential is realized.

“Juan is certainly a player to
watch out for in the future,” General Manager Erik Soler said in a club
statement. “His physical and technical ability for someone of his age is
impressive and he had a very strong preseason.”