[MLS TRANSACTIONS]Juan Agudelo's much-anticipated move out of New York has finally happened as the 19-year-old striker has been traded to Chivas USA in exchange for defender Heath Pearce, allocation money and future considerations. Red Bulls General Manager Erik Soler insisted the deal was at Agudelo's request.
“It had become clear that he thought that his chance to develop as a player would maybe get better chances if he played somewhere else," Soler said. "We still don’t think that’s the case, but sometimes when you work in this sport you have to put on larger glasses.“
“We want to support Juan but he wants to try something new and we’ll give him that opportunity. We had numerous people calling us from the league about Juan, and we had turned everybody down for a long time. But in the end, when it became clear that he really wanted to try something else, and Hans and I discussed it, we don’t want to be anywhere close to giving him less opportunity than what he wants himself.“
Agudelo will be available this weekend as Chivas USA takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first game of the SuperClasico on Saturday at the Home Depot Center (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 10:30 pm ET).
Agudelo, 19, is in his third professional season. He appeared in 33 matches including 13 as a starter, scoring six goals with the Red Bulls. But he was increasingly unhappy, Soler said, with his limited role with the Red Bulls.
Last year, Luke Rodgers was preferred to Agudelo as French star Thierry Henry's partner up front.
This season, Kenny Cooperhas nine goals, tying him with Henry for the team lead.
“We have a pair of strikers that are working fantastic at the moment,” Soler said. “To be a backup player is not good enough for Juan and we understand that.”
The Red Bulls, who can use help on defense, acquire one of MLS's top defenders -- and one its most versatile -- in Pearce.