If Juan Agudelo had only earned a few more US national team caps before 2014, Stoke City fans could be enjoying wonder goals like the one the New England Revolution striker bagged last night.
The 22-year-old joined the Potters from New England back in January 2014 after his deal at Gillette Stadium expired but unsuccessful attempts to acquire a work permit saw him released six months later without making a single appearance for Mark Hughes’ side.
Since returning to the Revs after having to give up on a dream move to England for the time being, the Colombian-born American has not quite lit up MLS – netting seven times in 32 regular-season games, but he has still managed to flash several moments of brilliance this term.
The latest came in Wednesday night’s MLS Cup Playoff match against D.C. United, when the 20-times capped front man opened the scoring in the 15th-minte with a sensational bicycle kick off right-back Kevin Alston’s cross.
Twitter unsurprisingly reacted in awe to the Revs star’s acrobatic effort, with the likes Sunderland’s Tottenham Hotspur loanee DeAndre Yedlin among the many left speechless at his USA teammate’s finish.
Unfortunately, Agudelo’s golazo could not prevent the hosts from seeing their playoff campaign come to an end at the first hurdle, as Fabian Espindola’s 45th-minute equaliser and a late Chris Pontius strike sealed D.C. a 2-1 comeback win in the one-game Knockout Round.
Agudelo himself was forced off in the 70th-minute after taking a knock to his knee, marking a disappointing end to what has been an overall frustration first season back in the States.
A hugely talented player, inconsistency has so far prevented the former New York Red Bulls youngster from fulfilling the gaudy expectations that surrounded him upon bursting onto the MLS scene back in 2010, but at just 22 years of age, he certainly still has time on his side.
If he can start showing those flashes of brilliance on a more regular basis in 2016 then there will almost certainly be further European interest in his signature, but until US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann hands him a few more caps, a second attempt at a Premier League switch might have to wait.