By FRANCO PANIZO
The immediate future of Juan Agudelo lies in Orlando. His long term future is not so clear.
Agudelo will be training with MLS-bound Orlando City this week in an effort to maintain his fitness and sharpness, but the 21-year-old free agent will not be joining the club on a permanent basis. Rather, he is simply on a training stint ahead of his next move.
While Agudelo’s presence is intriguing because he is currently out of contract, the young forward is only with Orlando City as part of a training stint before his next move, according to Lions general manager Paul McDonough and coach Adrian Heath.
“It won’t be here,” Lions general manager Paul McDonough told the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re helping him out, like we did with Brek (Shea). He is training and he will make a move at some point, but with MLS rules it won’t be here.”
That Agudelo is following in Shea’s footsteps at Orlando City this summer is not entirely surprising. Club president Phil Rawlins has connections with Stoke City, the Premiership outfit that employs Shea and that Agudelo was hoping to play for before seeing efforts to land an English work permit fall short yet again in May.
“I enjoy having (Agudelo) here,” Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath told the Orlando Sentinel. “This is a guy who is highly thought of. For the rest of the group, we can’t get enough quality players in to train. Having seen good players has been valuable for a lot of our younger players.
“He’s come in and, like Brek, gone on with it, been part of the group…and it’s been good to have him in.”
A U.S. Men’s National Team pool player, Agudelo closed out this past season on loan at FC Utrecht. He helped the club avoid relegation in the Eredivisie, scoring three goals in 14 appearances.
What do you think of Agudelo training with Orlando City ahead of his next move? Where do you see him landing? Think he should return to MLS?
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