Apparently the Red Bulls are content to sit on an unused DP slot. As Hans Backe says in this article, the team is not looking for a splashy new name, and with the addition of DeRo the team feels like they have built a solid contender with more depth. That's fine and dandy with me, but I feel that the DP could be used in a more productive fashion on one of our own.
Juan Agudelo looks like he has a promising future. His explosive start with the USMNT has thrown him into a bright spotlight very suddenly. For every article about him being the next "bright young thing" to captivate American soccer, there are articles warning us about the prospect of failure and advising rational expectations. This is all very true. Although Jozy still gets play with the USMNT (and I hope it continues, I believe in his future success) he and Freddie Adu have floundered overseas, and are virtually invisible. In the latest ESPN the Magazine, there was a short piece on Juan, and it stated that he and the Red Bulls are already being contacted by unnamed European clubs. My fear is that in a year or two he will chase the money, the club will be eager to get value from him and make a deal, and he ends up in three years playing for Portugal's second division. My solution is to use that third DP slot to pay Juan like a serious professional. Give him money that would be competitive with at least the 2nd and 3rd Euro divisions and keep him a Red Bull until at least after the next World Cup.
Obviously the main argument against this is that he's too young for such an investment. MLS is not Serie A or Premier League; teams can't afford to spend wildly and then just shrug if it doesn't pan out. If he flames out by the next Cup then the team has sunk money into him and lost the chance to cash in on a transfer fee. Double whammy.
Here's my answer. If you believe that Juan Agudelo is going to be a star, why not make an investment in him? A 3 year contract will allow him to continue to develop as a Red Bull, and be the home grown attraction to the team's fanbase. We've seen that Bob Bradley will continue to use players on the USMNT that are MLS based, so staying in MLS is not going to hurt Juan's chances there. And if he DOES show that he can realize his potential, and be the attractive and charasmatic footballer that we believe he him to be (or at least I do), then we have an American star to build our market around. If he caps it off by netting a couple at the next Cup, then his transfer fee will be exponentially higher the year after and the team will have a greater cash reward. That's my thought process and my wish for this team moving forward. I would be interested to hear the opinions of other on this.
14 votes total
The opinions stated herein are wholly those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of OnceAMetro.com or SBNation.com.