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Chivas acquires rising star Juan Agudelo from Red Bulls

May 17, 2012|By Kevin Baxter
  • Juan Agudelo celebrates after the New York Red Bulls defeated the Houston Dynamo on May 9.
Juan Agudelo celebrates after the New York Red Bulls defeated the Houston… (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images )

In arguably one of the biggest trades in the franchise's short history, Chivas USA on Thursday acquired striker Juan Agudelo from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for defender Heath Pearce and allocation money.

Moments later, Chivas announced another deal, sending midfielder Michael Lahoud and allocation money to Philadelphia in exchange for Union defender Danny Califf.

Agudelo, a 19-year-old rising star with the U.S. national team, has six goals in 33 matches with the Red Bulls over the last three seasons. In Los Angeles he will be counted on to revive a dormant offense that has scored a league-low six goals in 10 games this season.

"I am certainly excited to have Juan Agudelo joining our team," said Chivas Coach Robin Fraser, who has been under fire during his team's sluggish start. "He's a dynamic young forward who has an incredible future. [But] you have to give up an asset to get an asset. In order to get a player like Juan you have to give up a very good player like Heath."

The Colombian-born Agudelo, a product of the Red Bulls academy, became the youngest player to score for the U.S. national team when, a week before his 18th birthday, his goal in November 2010 beat South Africa in a friendly in Cape Town.

Last fall, he became the fourth-youngest player in Major League Soccer history to start a playoff game.

Agudelo and Califf and expected to be available for Saturday's SuperClasico with the defending MLS champion Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

Pearce, also a veteran of the U.S. national team, signed with Chivas in February 2011 and was an MLS all-star last season, when he was also voted Chivas' top defender.

Califf, who will likely replace Pearce on the back line, is a 32-year-old from Montclair who served as captain of Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga and has 23 caps with the U.S. national team.

Lahoud, a native of Sierra Leone, was a first-round pick by Chivas in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and played in 39 matches with the team, scoring once and adding four assists. Due to injuries, he has played just 54 minutes this season.


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