#2. Juan Agudelo
Pos: F | New York Red Bulls | Age: 18
- Last year on "24 Under 24": N/R
- Fan Ranking: #2
- Castrol Index (Aug): #86
Agudelo has exploded onto the American soccer scene like few players his age have in the history of the sport in the USA. His rise would likely have taken a much more gradual progression had former US national team manager Bob Bradley not called him up for a trip to South Africa last November, when he had a mere 14 minutes of MLS regular season experience. The game-winner he scored on that US senior debut as a 17-year-old changed everything. Ever since that moment, the buzz around Agudelo has mushroomed while NYRB manager Hans Backe remains steadfast in his plan to bring him along slowly amidst all the hype. Today Agudelo has as many caps (12) as he does career starts for the Red Bulls. An unconventional case, to say the least.
What the TDs and coaches say: "“Very, very good talent … Very imaginative and creative in those moments around the goal and is a player that can make stuff happen on his own. Very impressed with him … High quality player who packs power and finishing ability … When he’s on, he’s on … Love his commitment. He shows his work ethic on the field not only to go to goal but even to transition on moments to defend. It's excellent for a forward … He has to get more involved in the general play of the team. I think he seems to drift in and out of the game. But when he’s in the game, he has power, pace and ability and very good young player … Playing for Jurgen Klinsmann with the USA, who played the position, will help him a lot.”"