Hans Backe: Juan Agudelo fits in New York Red Bulls plans

The Red Bulls have a handful of strikers, but their coach indicated that the young U.S. international will still find playing time.
There has been much speculation over the future of New York Red Bulls forward Juan Agudelo.

The promising 19-year-old didn't feature much toward the end of last season and with the club bringing in Kenny Cooper and hoping for the return of Luke Rodgers, minutes at the forward position could be hard to come by.

Still,  New York's head coach Hans Backe has stressed the Colombian-born player is still a part of his plans, saying, "He fits in as a striker."

However, it has been difficult incorporating Agudelo into the team's plans considering his international commitments. The striker has been involved in all of the United States under-23 Olympic qualifier games, scoring in the team's last match against heated rival Mexico. Backe stressed that Agudelo's appearances will be limited in March.

"He'll be available for us in the Dallas game but then leaving for 13 days on Tuesday," Backe said. "He'll be away till April 1. We can't do anything about that."

While there have been reports that have suggested that Backe hasn't been too encouraged by the former Red Bulls academy product's progress, the former Manchester City assistant was quick to dispel those thoughts.

Backe hailed Agudelo as one of the most promising athletes to ever come out of the Red Bulls youth system. He claimed it will be a while before a similar player comes up the youth ranks.

"It's not many times that you find those kind of talents like Agudelo in your academy," Backe told Goal.com. "You might have to wait 10 years to find another one like that."