Options for Juan: If Stoke City wants to stay in the Agudelo business, there are ways

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Well, well, well. All of a sudden New England looks a lot less foolish, though the idea that they were somehow wrong to hold onto Juan Agudelo after the young striker agreed to a contact with Stoke City flew out the window once the Revolution made the playoffs. ‘Why didn’t they just sell him for what they could get,’ turned into ‘Well, he is their best chance for goals in the playoffs.’ Even though those goals didn’t happen, the bewilderment at New England’s choice dissipated the second the team qualified in the Eastern Conference.

Now the Revolution, who retained the in-league rights to the United States hopeful by not selling him, seem like the most logical landing spot for the 20-year-old, whose England dream is on hold until he gets more time with the senior national team. That’s not to say that MLS is his only option.

[MORE: Shock as Juan Agudelo’s work permit appeal rejected, Stoke City move in ruins]

Occasionally player who fails to meet the high standard of United Kingdom work permits to go out on loan. This happened when Costa Rican international Joel Campbell initially moved to Arsenal (he has spent season in Spain and Greece while still being on the Gunners’ books). At one time, Manchester United have a relationship with Belgian lower division side Royal Antwerp, who at times house players who couldn’t play in England. After a period of time, those players can get European Union passports, which would then allow them to play in England without a work permit. It’s uncommon but not unheard of.

The other option would see Agudelo to sign elsewhere, if the Stoke deal really does fall through. Instead of re-upping in Major League Soccer, a player who has long set his eyes toward Europe could take the road well-traveled. Does Agudelo’s future lie in Scandinavia? Or maybe the Jupiler League? Maybe even Eredivisie? At his age, with his ability, Agudelo presents a good opportunity for a club willing to take two years, cultivate his talent, and sell him for a profit.

With some players having made the jump to Mexico, that’s always an option, too. The point: Agudelo’s European dreams aren’t over. His hopes of making a little more cash than he would in MLS aren’t squelched. Perhaps he can even improve his standing in the U.S. Men’s National Team, should he land in the right league, with the right club.

And that would increase his chances of making his way back to England. After all, we’ve yet to hear Stoke City say they want out of the Juan Agudelo game. Only 20 years old, it’s unlikely he was signed for the short-term gain. The Potters may want to see this out.

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

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Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.

 

Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

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It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.