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Revs Notes: Agudelo appreciative of USMNT chance; Nguyen staying positive; and more

Juan Agudelo USA-Mexico (USA Today Images)

Photo by Soobum Im/USA Today Sports


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo said he wanted to make the most of his first call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team in over a year, but he wasn’t getting his hopes up for too much more than a late substitution Wednesday against Mexico.

USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann had something else in mind, subbing off one goal scorer for another as Agudelo replaced Jordan Morris in the 65th minute.

Seven minutes later, Agudelo was pointing to the sky to celebrate his first USMNT goal since 2011.

“To be honest, I appreciate the amount of time that (Klinsmann) gave me to prove myself,” Agudelo said before the Revolution’s training session on Friday. “I wasn’t expecting that much time and I’m just happy I was able to make the most of it.”

Agudelo admitted the moment “definitely overcame me” after putting the United States up 2-0 in the 72nd minute, saying it reminded him of his first USMNT goal against South Africa in 2010.

Although the long ball to set up his goal recalled Kelyn Rowe’s pass on Agudelo’s first goal of the MLS season two weekends ago at Colorado, Agudelo thought it was classic Michael Bradley.

“Kelyn played a little bit of a longer ball,” Agudelo said. “I thought of it more of a Michael Bradley playing Jozy Altidore ball. He usually plays that ball a lot and I was just able to bring it down and do something with it.”

Agudelo had to fight his way back into the USMNT pool after a misadventure in Europe, and that experience made him appreciate wearing the red, white and blue even more. In fact, he said seeing his name on the back of a USMNT jersey again was a highlight of his call-up.

“It’s something that’s really good for him and the club. We really feel that Juan is in a great position,” Revs coach Jay Heaps said. “I’m excited for him because it’s been a long, hard road to get back and he’s done a lot of work to get there.”

Here are a few other notes from Revolution training:


As the 22-year-old Agudelo made his triumphant return to the USMNT, his teammate, Lee Nguyen was left to watch from the bench as one of three unused substitutes. Nguyen, a Texas native who had friends and family visit San Antonio, said he’s not getting discouraged yet.

“I’m always happy and honored to get called up,” Nguyen said. “Obviously, you want to try to get some time to play, but at the same time Jurgen knows what he’s doing. I think this time it was more tactical and stuff, but there’s going to be more chances to play.”

Nguyen has been called into three of the last four USMNT camps, but has only played a combined 68 minutes in substitute appearances against Colombia, Chile and Panama. Including his three caps in 2007, Nguyen has still never started or played more than 45 minutes in a USMNT game.

“You’ve just got to keep playing, keep doing your thing and when you get your chances you’ve just go to make the most of your opportunities,” Nguyen said.


Heaps and the Revs’ training staff put Jermaine Jones on a 45-minute cap in his first game of the season last Saturday against Columbus Crew SC. Although Heaps declined to say if Jones would be on a prearranged minutes limit again, he said he’s been encouraged with the midfielder’s continued progress in coming back from a sports hernia surgery.

“We’re progressing each day with Jermaine, just to see exactly where he fits on the fitness spectrum, and he’s had a really good week of training,” Heaps said. “We’ll have to see where those minutes lie.”

Jones told Revolution communications staff on Thursday that he is no longer feeling any pain.

“I got a little bit sore after the game, but I think that’s normal if you don’t play for a long time,” Jones said. “The pain that I had before, it’s not there. So I’m happy.”

Left back Chris Tierney (left ankle sprain) is also back to full training, although Heaps said he hasn’t yet made a decision on whether Tierney will play Sunday against Philadelphia.

“Chris adds another element out there and he really can contest back lines, early service, get to the byline,” Heaps said. “I thought we defended really well (against Columbus), so that was good, but we missed him a little bit in the attack… I think we have some good depth and other guys are going to step up when he’s out.”

What did you think of Agudelo’s USMNT return? What does Lee Nguyen have to do to earn more minutes in a crowded USMNT midfield? How many minutes should Jones play this weekend?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. What made me optimistic following the Agudelo was the way he controlled the ball throughout. It leads me to beleive Agudelo can flourish with this USMNT.

    • Juan arguably has the best first touch of any player in the USMNT pool.

      He always has had that. He just needed to get his head on straight and, thankfully, that seems to be happening.

      Isn’t if funny how everyone seems to have forgotten the latest saviour for the US at forward Rubio Rubin, now that Juan and Jordan have made their case?

      • “Isn’t if funny how everyone seems to have forgotten the latest saviour for the US at forward Rubio Rubin, now that Juan and Jordan have made their case?”

        lol +1. Fickle fans… such is fandom tho

      • I haven’t forgotten. I’m still hoping to get a result at the Olympics. Morris and Rubin are exactly the sort of guys who can tilt the field for us there.

  2. I flat out don’t understand Klinsmann or his head games. I refuse to believe that Lee Nugyen deserves zero minutes while he starts people like Corona and plays that guy from the Div 2 league. over him. Until JK gives up as Bradley as a #10 (hes not) Lee will have a tough time getting minutes.

    I would say that 1 goal in 7 minutes trumps 1 goal in 48 minutes. Lets hope that thought stays with Klinsmann

    • Whether or not you refuse to believe it…. It begs the question, have you seen Nguyen in training with the rest of these guys with the USMNT. I’m going to give it a wild guess – no.

      Hard to criticize his choices until you know what he’s seen. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      • No need to be condescending. Nguyen has shown his quality both at the MLS and international level (given his limited minutes), so it’s not that difficult to understand why fans are wary of Nguyen not getting more NT minutes.

    • As someone who appreciates Joe Corona, he plays in a tougher league than Nguyen and started in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores two years ago, a greater achievement than Nguyen can point to in his career. Corona is also about 4 years younger and Nguyen will be a bit old for the next WC. And if you have seen Xolos play, they like to play in the style that Klinsmann says he prefers–quick, attacking with good ball possession–and Corona does very well in that environment. This is not to denigrate Nguyen, who I think should get more playing time, but to point out that Corona is very deserving of the time he gets on the pitch.

    • Luke,

      There are no head games. It’s just the way it is.

      Nguyen doesn’t really seem to fit into this team.

      Corona has played well for JK in the past and can play anywhere.

      Ibarra, that 2nd division guy, is younger than Lee, faster, a willing defender and will eventually find his scoring touch

      Obviously JK likes the idea of a lot of young, fast, skilled, fit attackers like Ibarra, Morris, Juan, Corona, Shea, Gyau,Green, Rubin, Wood and so on.

      Lee doesn’t really fit into that category. The guy he has to fight for playing time is Mikey.
      And if Nagbe and Zelalem get into the picture then that will be GZ, Nagbe. Nguyen and Bradley fighting for basically one spot.

      The good thing about this is it tells us the USMNT is beginning to develop some depth.

      Lee deserved his call up but that is just the first step.

      Now he has to fight Mikey to get off the bench

      • I would add 2 things GW,
        1. As u pointed out to someone the other day, having a plethora of Def Mids probably keeps MB more advanced for the time being (Beck, Danny W., Jr Jones & Cam???- Shipp on the rise-I’m probably overlooking someone)
        2. He’s got Mix & Bedoya potentially as roadblocks as well-Mix plays that role naturally & Ale is the multi-flexible guy who’s tough to beat out

        I WANT Nguyen to get on the field, I’m a fan of his game-but right now he’s gotta force his way in.. which I hope he does

      • I don’t think Nagbe’s a threat to Bradley. I think Nagbe’s a threat to a bunch of guys who have not exactly distinguished themselves at left wing.

        Klinsmann is German. He was the German national team coach. Which means he understands as well as anybody the system that Germany took to this last World Cup…where they took 1 true striker – the 36-year-old Miroslav Klose – and about 20 guys who could fill in at midfield, and interchanged spots and played the “positionless soccer” that Klinsmann has been preaching ever since he got here.

        Nagbe can play centrally, sure. He’s doing it for Portland. But ultimately it’s his speed and ability to run at people – in addition to his technical and passing ability – that will make him attractive to Klinsmann. He wants his mids to ALL basically be capable of playing central mid. If they can run at people and use their speed on the edge (as Nagbe can), you can basically pencil yourself into the 23.

        We’re still looking for right and left midfielders. I do think Mix may have made a case at right mid against Mexico.

        The left mid spot? Still open. Corona did OK…but he didn’t lay claim to it either.

        Still think Nagbe’s the guy there.

      • quozzel,

        Yeah but where do you think Lee fits in if at all?

        The “positionless soccer ” you refer to has its roots in the great “total football” Dutch teams of the late 60’s early 70’s. In that team you would see the immortal Cruyff play for a while at right back and then shift over to left wing and then central midfield, all in the same half..

        Your point about the current German team and how it relates to JK is a good one. His philosophy should be no surprise given that Germany has a long history of playing guys “out of position”.

        JK’s 1990 West German World Cup winning team, played a 3-5-2 in the final.

        It had maybe one true fullback, Brehme , a converted midfielder playing wingback and the other wingback was actually a center half, Berthold.

        So they lined up in a World Cup final with 4 center backs . And of course JK’s “best friend”, Matthaus was the DM and he was always an attacking threat.

        In other words Germany as a team, has always valued versatility and has never been as overly precious as most SBI fans about “positions”.

  3. Anybody else think the Revs could be truly scary once they heal up?

    A CM pairing of Nguyen and Jones, Agudelo and Davies up top, Bunbury on the wing, one of the most crazy-athletic (if still somewhat error-prone) CB’s in the league in Andrew Farrell…if this team can solidify at the back a bit, I don’t know if anybody else in MLS has this. Definitely one of the most athletic crews in the league, by a bunch. If they’re not one of the final 2-3 left standing once again I’d be shocked.

    Still eyeballing Bunbury and wondering if he might make a run that puts him back in the USMNT. I like him a ton better as a winger than I ever did as a forward…THAT SPEED, and at least in the playoffs he was showing an inclination to put in the dirty work and make the hard runs back as well. Impressed me a bunch.

    • The Revs are using Juan as an outside attacker now with Davies up top. Juan still gets into the middle a lot though and gets to play more facing goal. He’s always had a great touch and is cool on the ball. He doesnt need many chances to create a shot or take one himself.

      Lee – Lee is still struggling to regain last year’s form with the Revs. I think the main issue this year is that teams are getting 2 or 3 guys on him as soon as he gets the ball. This has impacted his ability to create or shoot like he was last year. The team is not clicking offensively as a unit right now and there is a surplus of quality players all deserving minutes. Hopefully this week will be a breakout week.

      The guy that JK should be looking at but hasn’t yet is Scott Caldwell at DM. Young, solid, very active. He pairs with Jones and Jones has declared him as “his replacement on the NATs” JK should take notice as this kid is a prospect and has far better wheels than Beckerman at this point. Quite similar games as Beckerman though

      • Wink

        Jermaine Jones is on record as being a huge Caldwell fan.

        And you know it seems Jones has never been shy about expressing his true feelings to JK.

        For what it’s worth, I’ll bet JJ is making sure JK knows all he needs to know about Caldwell.

  4. Hard for me to believe that Lee Nguyen is not showcasing his higher level of skill in this week’s practice and January camp. Baffled that he’s not being given more than 15 mins/game (0 mins this game) to showcase what he can do against real competition.

    • Show. Me. Something. Granted, I would have said that about Morris and a list of other people but when given that opportunity he needs to stand out. If you light up MLS and then disappear for USMNT I don’t care what your league stats are, you’re our Twellman or Wondo.

      • I Voice,

        Twellman scored 6 goals in 30 games for the USMNT, a goal every 5 games.

        Wondo has scored 9 goals in 27 games for the USMNT, a goal every 3 games.

        I didn’t see much of Twellman but I have seen all of Wondo’s US games and the big thing about him is that he is desperately unlucky.

        Still, a goal every three games, however unimportant you may think they are, is not “disappearing”

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