Amidst an otherwise ragged affair, pitting a ‘C’ USA Squad against South Africa in Cape Town in the final international friendly of the year, 17 year old Juan Agudelo of the New York Red Bulls entered the game with about 30 minutes to go. Juan was last seen starting at the expense of Thierry Henry in the MLS playoffs against San Jose a few weeks back – a game in which he created havoc and assisted on a Juan Pablo Angel goal.
And this is how the young man responded:
NOW THAT’S HOW YOU DEBUT FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM!
Let the hype and unrealistic expectations ensue! Seriously, that’s some nice composure and skill by Mikkel ‘They Put Me in the Mix’ Diskerud, a dual Norwegian-US citizen who also debuted this game, with the assist.
This goal brought to you by the craziness of scheduling friendlies for the U.S. National Team, wherein Coach Bob Bradley does not want to risk the good will of European managers (see Dempsey, Clint, and Holden, Stuart, and Howard, Tim) with an otherwise meaningless friendly. He also couldn’t call in the Mexican-based contingent at Pachuca, nor could he select any MLS players participating in this past weekend’s playoffs or this weekend’s final. So in that scenario, you end up with strange caps for guys like Logan Pause and Brian Carroll and Robbie Findley. And an intriguing but very youthful striker in Agudelo, as well as dual US/Canadian Teal Bunbury getting trickle-down caps with the senior team. Only in America, eh?
And only due to the well-documented shortage of strikers in Team America’s stable. Let’s hope this the start of something grand for Juan. May he keep it in perspective and continue to develop those goal-scoring instincts.