New England Soccer Today

Agudelo Reflects on Emotional Goal


Photo credit: Eric Guzman/Prost Amerika


Juan Agudelo wasn’t shy about showing his emotions immediately after scoring against Mexico on Wednesday. And with good reason.

Last year, Agudelo was stuck in soccer limbo, not knowing if he’d ever find a place to put down some roots.

A deal with Stoke City disappeared after his work permit was denied, rendering him a virtual nomad. Without a place to call home, his future with the U.S. Men’s National Team felt like it was slipping away.

Then came Wednesday. After a year-long absence from the National Team scene, Agudelo came on in the 65th minute, and seven minutes later, he fell to his knees and pointed to the sky before an audience of 64,369.

“It definitely overcame me,” Agudelo told the media prior to training on Friday. “It brought me back to when I scored my first goal against South Africa. It was crazy how it was sort of a similar celebration.”

Typically, a strike that widens a one-goal margin allows for a wild and jubilant display from the scorer. But that wasn’t the case for Agudelo.

Wednesday’s match was more than just another game for him. His last cap came over year ago during an uneventful, seven-minute outing against Ukraine on Mar. 14, 2014.

“As soon as I was called upon to put on the jersey, and represent the team on the field, I saw it – and I saw my name on the back,” Agudelo said, “and came on as a sub, (I) tried to do the best that I could.”

While all eyes were on Agudelo following the goal, Revolution coach Jay Heaps could only smile knowing full well how far his young forward has come since last year.

“I’m excited for him because it’s been a long hard road for him to get back,” Heaps told the media prior to Friday’s training. “He’s done a lot of work to get there.”

The goal itself was the moment that will last in Agudelo’s mind, no doubt, but he was also thankful of Klinsmann’s decision to put him on the pitch with ample opportunity to showcase his talents.

“I appreciate the amount of time that he gave me to prove myself,” Agudelo said. “I wasn’t expecting that much time and I was just happy I was able to make the most out of it.”

Following the match, Klinsmann had a piece of advice for the 22-year-old striker.

“He said, ‘Congratulations, keeping going, and do well for your club,'” Agudelo said.

Leave a Reply