- Juan Agudelo’s ankle sprain, an injury he sustained last month while playing with the U.S. Men’s National Team, is progressing ahead of schedule.
“We didn’t [think] he could play anything in Mexico because of his injury,” said assistant coach Jan Halvorsen from the campus of Montclair State University. “But he has done well the last four or five days in the camp, in training. The medical staff said that he actually could play 20 minutes in the last game.”
Agudelo came on as a sub in the 75th minute of the Tecos match, the final meeting of the team’s preseason trip through Mexico (Watch Highlights
). Chances were limited on both sides of the pitch at that point, culminating in a 1-1 tie 15 minutes later, but it was refreshing for Agudelo to make his way onto the pitch and test out his ankle.
“It was good. Good to finally get back,” he said. “To recover from the injury, that took like a month or three weeks. It was really boring. And to finally get on the field, it felt good.”
U.S. Soccer announced Thursday that Agudelo would be joining the U-23 squad
as they aim to take on Mexico’s U-23 on Wednesday, Feb. 29. Agudelo stated that his ankle feels about “90 percent,” but that he does have to work on his fitness ahead of the trip to Frisco, TX.
“I realized that I need to play to be happy. And when I started playing my mood started to get better and stuff like that," Agudelo said. "It’s just tough because watching your teammates play and just wishing that you were just there, it’s tough to watch and just be on a bike, and just peddling nowhere.”
The Red Bulls leave for the second leg of the preseason Monday and will face Mexican side Pumas UNAM on Feb. 23 as part of Reto Del Sol (Tickets Available Here
). From there the team will jet off to Tucson to compete in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup.