New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo returned to the team's lineup after an injury layoff hoping to make an impact and help his side snap a two-game losing skid in which it failed to score. He did so, and then some.
Agudelo stole the show in the Revolution's 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium Saturday night, with his 54th-minute back-heel flicked goal that lobbed over Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson. It was his first goal since his last appearance for the Revs, eight games ago.
With Johnson charging off his line to try and cut off Agudelo after Chris Tierney's ball forward, Agudelo instinctually did what he could with the bounding ball. Despite Bakary Soumare charging hard into his own net to try and keep it out, the goal stood, and, perhaps more importantly, snapped a scoreless deadlock.
“The ball slowed down a little bit and it was just instinct - I don’t why, maybe a little South American swag I don’t know - but I’m so happy it went in.” Agudelo said. “I knew it was across the line, but I was hoping that the refs saw that it was across the line. It was an awesome feeling to see the linesman put his flag out to say that it was a goal.”
Agudelo, who is poised for a move to English Premier League side Stoke City, was playing in his first MLS game since June 15 after a spell with a knee injury.
“I felt really good. The training staff has done an awesome job to get me back and to be fit, because I came back and I didn’t really feel that tired,” Agudelo said. "Last week was kind of a precaution not to play. This week I felt 110 percent and I felt fine.”
The 20-year-old has had an impressive conversion rate when he has played for the Revolution this season, scoring four times in just six appearances. Despite Agudelo's injury setbacks and his pending move to the Premier League, the young forward is eager to prove his worth.
“I just feel like I’m put out there on the field I gotta do my job.” Agudelo said. “To play the No. 9 position is to either get assists or goals. Whatever I can do to get three points.”