Friday, November 19, 2010
After winning his first cap with the USA National team this week the Juan Agudelo hype machine has been turned on. The soon to be 18-year old New York Red Bull player's (who played in only two matches for the Red Bulls during the MLS season) image is gracing a number of websites with lovely articles about him and also (and most notably) is gracing the front page of Yahoo USA's main page today. Unfortunately, I have yet to see this kid play, so I cannot speak about his game. However, I'm now expecting the same hype Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore received to greet Mr. Agudelo in the next MLS season. It's truely a shame as Adu (who is most likely older than he is stated to being) never lived up to the ridiculous hype and pressure that was placed on him in both MLS and now in Europe. Altidore who had only a brief spell in MLS with NY has performed notably for the US National team, however, his performances at club level have left many to wonder what has happened. Altidore, on loan to Hull City last season, scored one goal in 28 appearances as Hull City were relegated. He is now back with his parent club Villarreal where he has played sparingly. I hope Agudelo doesn't end up like the two before him and buy into his own hype. Agudelo could be the new face of USA soccer with the likes of Mikkel Diskerud, Andy Najar (if he can gain US citizenship soon) and Tim Ream as the Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey get older. The big question is will MLS and NY Red Bull allow this budding star grow and continue to learn his trade; or will they see the dollar signs and begin to market him for the short-term?