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Agudelo Down on Backe's Youth Development, Interview Reads Like Frustrated Message Board Screed

I was at this game, drunk as hell and shirtless for the entire second half. I was sick for a week and a half afterwards. I still remember looking up from pounding the back of the chair in front of me to see Agudelo score.
I was at this game, drunk as hell and shirtless for the entire second half. I was sick for a week and a half afterwards. I still remember looking up from pounding the back of the chair in front of me to see Agudelo score.

After Juan Agudelo was flipped to Chivas USA for Heath Pearce, the young striker, who asked to be moved, was reportedly down on the trade. We imagine the conversation went a bit like this:

SOLER: We've traded you to the west coast.

AGUDELO: Awesome! I get to play with David Beckham and Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan!

SOLER: No. Not to the Galaxy.

AGUDELO: So I'll get to play with Chris Wondolowski?

SOLER: We've traded you to Chivas.

At which point Agudelo made some kind of unflattering, confused face.

But whatever his initial feelings, he seems to have settled down there, enough to take passive aggressive digs at the Red Bulls and their youth development, anyway. Talking to's Alex Labidou, Agudelo made more than a few thiny veiled comments at his former club.

The Red Bulls don't communicate well...

As it turns out, Agudelo strongly values honest communication. Hence, he isn't disappointed that he hasn't been called up by Jurgen Klinsmann over the past few months. The U.S. coach laid forth a clear objective for him.

"I don't really have to be in touch with him because I understand what he wants from me, what he expects from me," Agudelo tells "I understand what I have to do and that's a good part about [our communication]. I'm not confused about what I have to do to get a call up. I understand what he wants from me."

And what exactly does Klinsmann expect of young Agudelo?

"He mainly expects me to prove myself at the club level. He's seen things from me on the national level but he wants to see that with my club," Agudelo explains. "Whether or not I'm playing out right or as a forward, he wants me to basically do my job which is to either get assists or goals."

They weren't interested in his development...

He claims that the New York Red Bulls didn't have much of an interest in developing his talent. It is that belief that led to his exit from New York, not a guaranteed starting spot as some have reported.

"It wasn't about whether or not I was going to play or not, I just felt like I wasn't developing," Agudelo says. "I felt like I was developing with the national team but in training sessions [with New York], I wasn't getting much direction or belief in trying to improve my game."

He adds, "It wasn't a place where they were looking to develop young players... I felt like if that was the case then personally, I would want to be at a place where they are looking to develop young players."

Hans Backe has no idea what he's doing, either...

Agudelo never directly criticizes Backe or the Red Bulls but it is obvious that he questions some of the club's decision making. When asked whether or not he still follows the Red Bulls, he immediately brings up Kenny Cooper's demotion to the bench despite scoring 14 goals.

"The thing that makes me a bit upset is the situation with Kenny Cooper," Agudelo says. "I feel like he's done so much for the team and they are where they are right now because he's their leading scorer. He's been getting goals and he's a great guy, it's unfortunate that he's not starting anymore."

Really nothing that hasn't been said before in various Red Bulls circles, though it's much different coming out of a player's mouth than it is some random fan. However, it also reads as a 19-year-old trying to find solace in his new environment, one as pretty much a permanent red headed stepchild to the much bigger, more famous LA Galaxy with whom they share the Home Depot Center and training ground.

So what did Juan want? More focus on Juan it seems, ignoring that the team, even before he left and Erik Soler overhauled the roster, had one of the highest payrolls in the league and was built with the express purpose of winning now. Also, ignoring his rumored motivation problems.

Regardless, the Red Bulls came out winners in the trade, they'll get a hefty fee if Agudelo reaches his potential and Pearce has equaled Agudelo's 2012 MLS goal total.