The 21-year-old striker will follow in the footsteps of Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson and Michael Bradley as an American playing in the Dutch league.Juan Agudelo's quest to make a move to Europe has finally reached completion after the striker signed with English Premier League side Stoke City, then was immediately loaned out to Dutch side FC Utrecht, sources confirmed to Goal USA on Sunday.
A free agent after playing out his contract with Major League Soccer in the fall, Agudelo saw an initial move to Stoke City halted when he failed to secure a UK work permit. The lack of a work permit prevents him from playing in the English Premier League, but does not prevent Stoke City from signing him and then loaning him out, with the hope being he can qualify for a UK work permit after playing in Europe.
The 21-year-old striker is coming off the best season of his pro career, scoring nine goals during stints with Chivas USA and the New England Revolution, who he helped reach the 2013 MLS playoffs.
Agudelo's move to the Eredivisie makes him the third New Jersey-born MLS export to play in the Dutch League, following in the footsteps of Michael Bradley (Heerenveen, 2006-2008) and Jozy Altidore (2011-2013). U.S. national team striker Aron Johannsson is currently starring for AZ.
Utrecht is in ninth place in the Eredivisie, with an attack ranked 13th in the league.
Agudelo had considered loan offers from Belgium and Denmark, as well as potential transfer offers from Spanish first division teams and a lucrative offer from a Turkish club, before settling on the deal with Stoke City.
Agudelo will join Utrecht this week and could be available for selection when the club faces Roda JC on Saturday.