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Agudelo: Altidore Convinced Me to Sign for Utrecht

  • ESPN FC, Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:42 PM

In an interview with Dutch media, Juan Agudelo revealed that his USA teammate Jozy Altidore convinced him to sign on loan with FC Utrecht of the Dutch Eredivisie while he waits to reapply for a British work permit with Stoke City, his parent club. Agudelo completed the switch from the New England Revolution in MLS to Stoke last November, but the Premier League club was unable to secure a work permit for him due to his lack of first-team appearances for the U.S. national team last year.

As the 21-year-old is unable to reapply for a work permit until March at the earliest, Stoke decided to loan him out in order to get him first-team playing time. Agudelo reveals that he chose Utrecht after speaking with Stoke teammate Erik Pieters and Sunderland striker Altidore, who used to play for Dutch club AZ. "Erik Pieters has told me that it's a great club. He grew up around here and he loved it, he loved playing here. Also Jozy Altidore has told me much about the club. I'm very good friends with him. I was just having dinner with him about a week ago trying to make my decision where to go and Utrecht seems to be the perfect spot for me."

Agudelo also spoke of his excitement of finally realizing his dream of playing in Europe. "I just have this feeling on the tip of my tongue of basically stepping on the field in a European stage," he said. "It's been a dream since I was a little boy watching TV seeing players play here in Europe. There's nowhere else any other soccer player would want to play than in Europe.” Agudelo could make his Utrecht debut on Wednesday against NEC in the Dutch Cup.

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