Juan Agudelo, shown here playing for FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie, is training with Orlando City this week. (VI-Images / VI-Images via Getty Images / April 2, 2014)
U.S. men's national team forward Juan Agudelo is training with Orlando City this week.
While Agudelo's presence is intriguing because he is currently out of contract, the 21-year-old forward is only with Orlando City as part of a training stint before his next move, according to Lions general manager Paul McDonough and coach Adrian Heath.
"It won't be here," McDonough said of Agudelo's next move. "We're helping him out, like we did with Brek [Shea]. He is training and he will make a move at some point, but with MLS rules it won't be here."
The former Major League Soccer striker moved to Stoke City in England on a free transfer but was twice denied a work permit in England. Agudelo went on loan to FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie, scoring three goals in 14 appearances, but mutually agreed to terminate his contract with Stoke after his work permit was denied a second time in May.
New England holds Agudelo's MLS rights and right of first refusal. If they did not claim Agudelo, he would fall under the allocation process if he returned to MLS.
Agudelo has expressed his desire to play in Europe, and a report on MLSsoccer.com in May indicated several Eredivisie clubs were interested in signing Agudelo. Agudelo was also linked with German club Hannover, however interest there seems to have waned.
It is the second time Orlando City has hosted a U.S. international for training. Former MLS midfielder Brek Shea, who plays for Stoke City, also spent time training with the Lions. McDonough pointed out that training against Agudelo has been valuable for Orlando City homegrown defender Tommy Redding, who has been challenged by a higher-level striker.
"I enjoy having him here," Heath said. "This is a guy who is highly thought of. For the rest of the group, we can't get enough quality players in to train. Having seen good players has been valuable for a lot of our younger players. He's come in and, like Brek, gone on with it. Been part of the group ... and it's been good to have him in."
Agudelo played four seasons in MLS, scoring 17 goals in 78 league appearances, including 11 goals in his final two years with Chivas USA and the New England Revolution. Agudelo has two goals in 18 caps with the U.S. men's national team.