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Video: ESPN's Agudelo interview, replay

By Steve Goff

By Steve Goff  | November 17, 2010; 6:47 PM ET
Categories:  South Africa, U.S. men's national team  | Tags:  Juan Agudelo  
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Next: Thursday kickaround: FIFA scandal, MLS, Charlie Davies, NCAA tournament, USA meets Mandela


Oh, and the dance was sweet to boot.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 17, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Nice and calm in front of the net settling an awkward ball and finishing. I didn't know the USMNT was allowed to do that.

Posted by: tcbannon | November 17, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving this next generation, can't grow up soon enough.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | November 17, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Bradley brings in youngsters and two of them take our breath away in their first cap. I guess we should complain that Bob didn't start them.

Some of the other players might not make it to the World Cup, but we need a set of guys who can step in and get us through CONCACAF qualifying or the Gold Cup when asked to. They may not make the WC2014 roster, but they will play a role in getting us there.

The last time I saw a US player create like Mix did was, well, never. OK, maybe Freddy's goal for the youth against Brazil, but never on the senior team.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Youngest player ever to score for the USMNT. Very nice! That highlight makes me wish I'd watched the game.

Posted by: glfrazier | November 17, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

South Africa's David Somma was eligible to play for the US, but the USSF did not pursue him and he's mad about it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"Bradley brings in youngsters and two of them take our breath away in their first cap. I guess we should complain that Bob didn't start them."

as a matter of fact i was complaining (before the game) that they didnt start (see the'matchday' thread)

that being said, who is this juan agudelo? makes his first MLS start couple weeks ago in playoffs (which is curious) and then gets called into nats? bizarre. usually takes at least a couple professional goals (as a forward).im betting either he will be a huge star, we will never hear from him again, or somewhere in between. but i have no idea which one...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Surprised Agudelo is the youngest ever goalscorer for the USMNT. I guess Freddy and Jozy didn't come through early enough.

I just finished watching the game. Nice performances by many youngsters and first-timers for the US. Besides Agudelo, everyone from Lichaj to Ream to Bedoya to Bunbury and Diskerud did pretty well and none seemed nervous or overwhelmed by the moment.

I hope nothing spectacular happened in the last minutes of stoppage time because my tape ran out.

I still don't like Bob Bradley but tonight's performance was pretty good for a young team that hadn't trained together much.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 17, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I would advise Mr. Somma to get a US passport before he considers himself snubbed. Bob on the matter:

"We are very aware of David Somma. I have watched him play a number of times this year. His situation is such that at the moment he does not have a U.S. passport. There are still some questions as to his ability to get one. As is the case with different players around the world, sometimes there is speculation that a player might be able to play for the U.S., but obviously that doesn’t always mean that the understanding of our citizenship rules are in place. He is a talented striker, and someone that we are very aware of."

Posted by: BooThisMan | November 17, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The team did very well. Congradulations to them one and all. It was a good game from all. Brian & Logan nailed the holding strikers. All did great.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 18, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

They all looked as if they always played together. Brian & Logan were good as the holding midfielders. I really enjoyed the game. Our little Red Bull did himself proud. Look forward to seeing him next season.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 18, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Agree with tcbannon: I am not used to seeing anything like the composure in the box demonstrated by both of them... kind of sad that something as simple as that is enough to get us salivating.

Posted by: JayW4 | November 18, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that was a special goal...

Posted by: Reignking | November 18, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"im betting either he will be a huge star, we will never hear from him again, or somewhere in between."

A very risky bet there, sir! Do you dare...?

Posted by: amoffett1 | November 18, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Agudelo was highly coveted by both the Red Bulls and the USSF and at the beginning of this year, it wasn't clear that he would wind up with either much less both teams. He was in South America trying to impress there and win a more lucrative deal than MLS was offering him as a homegrown Red Bull. He was also a little cagey about whether he would end up with the USA or Colombia. Part of his delay in working his way into the Red Bulls lineup is that he didn't start with the team back in training camp -- but he definitely picked up the professional pace in short order.

I'm glad he's in the MLS and the USA fold. He's one of the most exciting players to come our way.

After teh USA's exit from the World Cup, I was in a liquor store wearing some US soccer shirt. Clerk admitted he didn't know a lot about it, but he asked me what I thought about the team. Then he said/asked something about the USA doing much better in 4 years.

My response was I wasn't so sure -- more like 8 years. I thought we had a few great players like Donovan and Dempsey and that we had some really great kids -- teenagers and young dudes around 20, like Altidore, who showed a lot of promise. I said what we're lacking is a bridge between those generations. Dempsey and Donovan will presumably be in decline in 4 years, probably still good enough to start for the USA, but on the downward slope. I said we didn't have guys who are at the right age to step in and really flourish in 4 years. I said we had some great youngsters, but they're probably too young to make a difference in 4 years.

Basically, I still believe that, but there's chance some of these young kids will be ready to contribute in 2014 to boost the national team to the next level. The challenge will be getting them the experience at the club level and in the national side. Guys like Lichaj, Altidore, Agudelo, Mwanga, Ream, Diskerud, Bedoya, possibly Opara or Agbossoumonde along with a few college players like Dillon Powers or Tyler Polak, and maybe a couple of other young MLSers like Shea, Braun and possibly Pontius (if he can ever figure out how to score) -- these guys are the ones who will make or break the USA's performance in 2018 -- but,if we're going to do better in 2014, we need some of them to develop really quickly.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Agudelo played his first game in April in an Open Cup match and then I believe played his first MLS match in October. When NYRB lost to San Jose, Agudelo was the most dangerous player for the New York hiting the post in the first half, coming close in the second and hitting a perfect cross to the far post for JPA's goal (NY's only of the game). I believe that he has played less than 200 senior roster minutes before yesterday.

My big picture take away is that (I hope) the US program is starting to get 20 year old (or younger) players that can calmly handle the ball and finish in the box. Let's hope that Diskerud, Agudelo and hopefully Najar are a sign of things to come. This is what we need for the USMNT to step up to the next level. With some creative youngsters coming out of US developmental programs and some decent defensive talent (Tim Ream), there are reasons to be optimistic.

Posted by: tcbannon | November 18, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think that in 2014 we'll go as far as our back line takes us. Bradley, Edu, Holden, Altidore and Feilhaber will all more or less be in their primes, and as Fischy said Donovan and Dempsey (and Jones) should still be good enough. Add a couple young up-and-comers to the list, and we have plenty of midfield/attacking talent. Either one of Howard or Guzan should be fine in net.

The back line might need a complete overhaul, though. Of the five guys who manned the back in SA, three will probably be on the edge of international retirement in 2014, one has a very unsettled club situation right now, and the other is, well, Johnny Bornstein.

If we can build a solid back four, I can definitely see a possible run in Brazil.

Posted by: BooThisMan | November 18, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

OT but Slate has an interesting article criticizing MLS for lame logos, among other things. I've thought this, myself: my young son and I don't watch much American football but he can recognize almost every logo; Vikings, Colts, etc. And I'm a United season ticket holder but I couldn't tell you what the logos are for Dallas, Colorado, San Jose, etc., honestly. The NFL's approach has to help build their fan base.

I can answer my son's question about what an NFL "Buccaneer" is in 2 seconds;

If he asks about MLS's Salt Lake, Toronto, or Dallas, he gets a 5-minute description of the conventions of European soccer. Lucky him. Guess which name appeals to him the most.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 18, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse tape ran out...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 17, 2010 10:05 PM

Tape? Wow, Joel, is your cell phone the size of work boot?

:) :) :)

Posted by: JkR- | November 18, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@Goff -- MLS has released a list of 11 players about to graduate from Generation Adidas noting that these players will "begin" to count against teams' salary budgets.

(As an aside -- I'm bemused because the league has decided to abandon "salary cap" in favor of "salary budget." I'm guessing this is mostly a p.r. move to pave the ground in advance of the next labor round in 4 years. Garber notes, though, that it's not really a hard cap -- that's it more of a baseline ($2.67 million for 2011). That's because -- in addition to the DPs -- teams can go over the cap/budget thanks to allocations the league hands out. Thanks to their last place finish, DC United should get the most allocation money this year. I hope the team makes good use of the extra funds the league will supply.)

I'm still wondering how all this connects to the "24 and under" "salary budget" exemptions Garber announced for roster slot 25 through 30.

As a technical matter, I'm wondering who will be responsible for these salaries. If they're not on the budget, presumably the teams won't need to use allocation money. Will the league cover their salaries anyway, or will the teams be individually responsible? It's especially interesting to DC United fans because of Will Chang's loud cries of poverty. If he has to pay, I wonder whether the team will make full use of this rule. Are they off budget just for cap purposes, or are they outside the league's usual mecahnismm where the league and not the team pays the salaries?

More interesting than the financial side is the roster impact -- Are these 6 slots in addition to any Gen Adidas or Homegrown players a teams has? Those salaries didn't count against the budget before. Or, do these 6 slots encompass the Gen Adidas and Homegrown players, plus any other 24 yr. olds (or younger) the team would like to take off the budget/cap count?

If the slots are in addition to GA and Homegrowns, a team such as United, which has a good complement of Homegrown players, can free up a lot more cap/budget room for higher-priced talent. They can have the Homegrown players, plus talented young Americans like Pontius, and young foreign signings like Hernandez (or, hopefully, more effective ones), and have the full budget left over to pay not 24 but maybe 20 or 21 other players. So you can see that it could be a pretty big difference depending on whether the 6 slots would include Homegrown players or whether they are a totally different animal. It would be great to know how this will work.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Of the five guys who manned the back in SA, three will probably be on the edge of international retirement in 2014, one has a very unsettled club situation right now, and the other is, well, Johnny Bornstein.

DeMerit will be signing with Vancouver any day now. Not so unsettled.

Side note -- this moves DC United up to the #2 slot on the allocation list for returning USA (now Canadian, too?) internationals. Portland might be waiting to see what Hahnemann want to do next summer, which would give DCU the first shot at the next/best returning USA international not named Hahnemann.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- You probably meant DeMerit as one of the ones heading into international retirement, and Gooch as the one with the unsettled club situation. Can't argue with that.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Agudelo has shown skill with the Red Bulls, composure even in the few minutes he played with them, and is young enough to improve in spades. Not only did his goal impress me but his booming cross that nobody in the box was at the end of also had me sit up. Why the cross? Because he was under pressure from the SA defender, it was almost to the line before going out he unleashed a cross that the keeper did not get to , that screamed across the front of the goal, and had someone been in the right position it had a chance for a nice goal.

Agudelo is EXACTLY what the USMNT team needs, more competition up front, and I pray it doesn't get to his head. He needs to keep pounding the goal with shots and maintain his fitness because we will need him down the line.

Posted by: elfelixg | November 18, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Buccaneer? The price of corn, right?

Posted by: Reignking | November 18, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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