UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Even though he’s only 18 years old, Red Bulls forward Juan Agudelo is suddenly becoming a regular with the US national team.
Agudelo found out via email earlier this week that he was selected to Bob Bradley’s squad for the March 26 friendly against Argentina at the nearby New Meadowlands Stadium, giving him a shot at his third cap in less than five months.
He’ll also have a shot at fourth appearance when the Americans take on Paraguay on March 29 in Nashville, Tenn.
“This is pretty huge,” Agudelo said. “Just when I saw the names on the roster, those are some big names there.”
Agudelo joins a veteran-heavy US team that includes names like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.
Agudelo has yet to score a goal in league play with New York, but his form with the national team during friendlies in November and January have lifted his profile. Plus, the U-20 national team could call on him for the World Cup this summer, leading to a potential tug of war between three coaches and three different teams for the player this spring and summer.
“I love [the U-20 national team] and I’d like to go with them,” Agudelo said. “But the Red Bulls – they’re my team. They pay my wages.”
Agudelo said he completely understands and will stand by any decision Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe makes with regards to releasing him for the U-20 games.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer