Make room for another U.S. international at Britannia Stadium.
Juan Agudelo signed a pre-contract with Stoke City and is set to join the club on Jan. 1, the Premier League side announced on Friday. Agudelo's contract with the New England Revolution runs through this MLS season, and then he will be off to join fellow Americans and former MLS players Brek Shea, Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu under manager Mark Hughes' guidance.
"We've put a lot of work into this deal, and I am delighted that we have managed to get the deal over the line," Hughes said in a club statement. "It’s a good deal for us, because he is a very good young player who boasts a lot of talent as well as a lot of potential too.
"I've known of him for a couple of years now. He burst on to the scene for the United States at the age of 17 and everybody has paid attention to him since."
The 20-year-old Agudelo, who is currently battling a knee sprain, has five goals in 11 games this season for both Chivas USA and the Revolution. He was acquired from Chivas USA in exchange for allocation money on May 7.
“Juan is a talented player and he has put himself into a position to have options abroad at the end of his MLS contract this December," the Revolution wrote in a team statement. "We always knew there was a possibility he would choose to explore these opportunities when we traded for him earlier this year, and we’re happy for Juan that he has earned this opportunity at Stoke. We’re looking forward to his return to the field with us for the remainder of the season as soon as he is back and fit from his recent injury.”
Agudelo has been a candidate to bolt for Europe ever since emerging as a U.S. national team prospect in 2010. He scored a game-winning goal on his debut in a friendly against South Africa in November 2010 and tallied another goal against Argentina the following March. On the club level, he has 14 goals and six assists in 64 career MLS games with the New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA and New England.
"We've played against five MLS teams in the last two years and have been consistently impressed with the quality we've come up against," Stoke CEO Tony Scholes said in a statement. "We've already taken two players directly from the MLS in Geoff and Brek. Geoff readily adapted to life in the Premier League by making 35 league appearances for us in his first season at the Britannia Stadium. Brek and Maurice will be looking to do likewise this season, and we’re confident that Juan will be able to follow suit."