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United Stokes of America, continued?
   August 1, 2013 (7:57 AM) by Howie Michaels     Email This Post Email This Post

It’s been a relatively quiet silly season in US circles thus far, but two new rumors have appeared linking New England Revolution striker Juan Agudelo and LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez to Stoke City.

Ives drops this note:


And media from Stoke have suggested Agudelo:

Hughes was interested in Agudelo, who now plays in the United States for New England Revolution, when he was in charge at Manchester City three years ago, and has monitored his progress since then.

Stoke have used their presence in America these past 11 days to conduct advanced talks amid competition from at least one Premier League rival.

Gonzalez, as Ives notes, is generally attractive because his contract with the Galaxy is up at season’s end (this is the second-most undiscussed story in American soccer behind the same being true with Landon Donovan). I don’t know how much sense it would make for Stoke though, given that Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth are pretty solid in the center of defense (forcing Gonzalez’s US teammate, Geoff Cameron, to rightback most often). Even if they’re looking for a relatively cheap depth signing (since there would be no transfer fee), I’m not sure that Stoke makes sense for Gonzalez unless he really likes hanging out with Cameron, Brek Shea, and Maurice Edu.

Agudelo makes more sense as he is having a nice year with New England (and Chivas USA before that) when healthy. Agudelo would have a tough time getting a work permit; however, several US players have won appeals in recent years (boosted by Jürgen Klinsmann’s involvement) so perhaps it wouldn’t be an issue.

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Howie Michaels

Howie once received a death threat at a USA-Brazil friendly. He still believes in Fred Adu. He plays forward in coed rec, although not well.

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Categories: Juan Agudelo, Omar Gonzalez

15 Responses to “United Stokes of America, continued?”

  1. Ufficio says:

    I don’t think Agudelo would have a problem with the appeal, should things progress that far. Approval of those things seems to be more or less automatic as of late. A 20 year-old with 17 full international caps shouldn’t have any problem.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    I believe in Great Britain anything over 10 international appearances is what they’re looking at to get a work permit.

  3. daniil says:

    But timing is important as well. Cameron got one with 5 caps that he had collected just before signing. The fact that agudelo has not won a cap in a while is glaring.

    But he should be fine.

  4. Trent Hill says:

    Agudelo is going to move to Europe, it’s just a matter of when. I was assuming Celtic would get him on a free when his contract ran up, but if Stoke go after him, he may go there.

    I want Gonzalez to play, wherever he goes.

  5. 2tone says:

    The SPL is horrible. Why leave MLS for Celtic? Makes no sense IMO.

  6. Howie says:

    I am guessing Agudelo could win an appeal, especially if Klinsi writes a supporting letter about how he is a key part of their plans. Maybe throw in how he would have played the Gold Cup if not for injury.

    I THINK Agudelo’s contract is up at the end of the season (it’s his 4th year), but MLS rules are opaque.

  7. daniil says:

    @2tone SPL competition is about as good as MLS competition, but the level of coaching/training you’re going to get at Celtic is so much better than that of any MLS team. That kinda atmosphere is invaluable for a young player.

  8. Trent Hill says:

    “The SPL is horrible. Why leave MLS for Celtic? Makes no sense IMO.”

    Tired of hearing this knock–MLS and SPL are roughly at the same level, except that Celtic is far and away above anything MLS can offer. Level of coaching, expectations, and european competition all put it on a different level. I mean, you can’t seriously be suggesting the NE Revolution are as good as Celtic?

  9. Gregory says:

    Kinda shocked nobody brought up the biggest difference between Celtic and MLS teams is MONEY.

    Celtic have a $43 million team payroll compared to the Columbus Crew $2.7 million. Highest MLS payroll ever was the LA Galaxy had a $17 million payroll when Beckham was included.

    Great Coaching and 50k+ fans cheering you on is cool, but players leave the MLS to make a superstars wages. ($800K+)

  10. Trent Hill says:

    Celtic compared to Colombus Crew probably isnt the most accurate depiction of both leagues in comparison–as Celtic is by far the biggest budget and Colombus Crew is amongst the lowest.

    But your point stands, especially in comparison to LA Galaxy.

  11. Gregory says:


    Keep in mind that LA Galaxy team salary had $10 million in 3 DP contracts.

    The MLS salary cap for 2013 was $2.95 million. The core of MLS teams are still underpaid and being marginalized in salary stats by DPs huge salaries.

    I think the MLS needs to at least double the salary cap, do away with most DPs, this would allow MLS to keep it’s good American veterans from jumping ship to Sweden, Norway, or other small leagues. Just think the MLS will be a cupcake league until it pays its great/good players enough to prevent them from jumping to lower European Leagues.

  12. daniil says:

    the biggest problem in MLS isn’t the players, it’s the quality of coaching/training/how teams play. The San Jose Earthquakes, godbless my hometown team, won the supporters shield in 2012 hoofing 60 yard balls through the air and elbowing people in the head. The league will grow through higher quality football and better youth talent (convince more kids not to go to college lol).

  13. Trent Hill says:

    Gregory–I dont have a problem with increasing the salary cap. “doubling it” is too violent of a jump, but maybe a 20% jump each season for the next 5 seasons?

  14. Gregory says:


    20% each year is much more likely then doubling. It currently increases 5% a year. The last Union contract was 2010.

  15. Gregory says:


    Really don’t watch SJ games but I think SJ attack is not the same since losing Simon Dawkins.

    I’m talking about the MLS keeping the homegrown talent and paying them enough so they don’t sign in lesser Europe Leagues. Still think plenty of lesser European Leagues will have Americans that couldn’t sign huge contracts in the MLS. Finland is a great example of this.

    Be nice if the next Clarence Goodson or Michael Parkhurst would stay in the MLS rather then grind in the lower leagues. (No negativity meant, grinding in the lower leagues can put $ millions in the bank)

    Crunching numbers it seems MLS needs to start offering $500K to $6500 contracts to match offers from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, ect.

    MLS also needs to be the first choice for CONCAFAF players over Scandinavia. Jamaica, Costa Rico, ect have some good players that should be in the MLS not Sweden and Norway.

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