USMNT Forward Juan Agudelo Takes Next Step, Set to Join Stoke City

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Agudelo is set to live his first experience away from the United States as the USMNT striker has reportedly reached an agreement to join Stoke City after the 2014 World Cup.

The former New England Revolution standout signed a pre-contract with The Potters in August. Now he has revealed that he will join the Premier League outfit after the end of this season, but he will go on loan first to get some experience in Europe.

Anderlecht, Standard Liege and FC Twente are among the teams interested in a six-month loan for the 21-year-old, but Valencia – a team that also wanted to sign him prior to Stoke – could be in line for him as well as they desperately need to strengthen their forward line.

At this point it really doesn’t matter where he ends up playing as long as he gets the chance to feature regularly because he – and the USMNT as well – would benefit greatly from the experience. Agudelo had nothing left to prove at the MLS level after scoring seven goals in 20 matches for The Revs last year, and he has a good total of 18 goals in 73 contests, a spectacular amount considering he’s not known for being a prolific goal scorer.

The experience of playing abroad should also help Agudelo to secure a place on the 23-man-roster for the upcoming World Cup as not many players have his blend of skill and quickness. He is definitely ready to take the next step, and he should be a very important player for years to come for the U.S. National Team if he continues his progression.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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