The promising young striker is recovering from an injury and is willing to play in the midfield to get playing time.
HARRISON, N.J. -- In a clear sign of recovery, Juan Agudelo rejoined his New York Red Bulls on the practice field on Thursday. What will be uncertain when he is cleared to play, is his role with the club.
In Agudelo's absence due to an torn meniscus, the New York Red Bulls have seen the emergence of Kenny Cooper, who has scored seven goals in seven appearances. It is unlikely that the 19-year-old will see much time in the forward spots where Cooper and team star Thierry Henry feature. One solution could be featuring Agudelo in a midfield role.
Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe has gone back and forth on whether or not to utilize the young striker in the position. Towards the end of last season, Backe appeared set to feature Agudelo on the right side but has since wavered on that stance. With right winger Dane Richards remaining inconsistent, Backe might revisit the idea. Agudelo says that he would be willing to give a midfield role a chance and explains that there might be some advantages to putting him out there.
"Any position that I would play, I would love to get playing time on the field," Agudelo said. "It would be awesome. Sometimes I do enjoy getting the ball in my feet, getting more comfortable with it. When I do have it on my feet, I do feel relaxed completing easy passes. So even if I was out there as a midfielder on the left or on the right, I think I could cope with it."
As for Agudelo's recovery, the United States international says that the process has gone better than anticipated.
“It felt good -- felt like the Avatar movie when the guy runs as an avatar," Agudelo joked. "It felt good to be on the field and to actually see the ball rolling around and actually get it on my feet.”