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02/20/2014
 
This week in Group G of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a variety of matches featured a rivalry between one or more international teammates. Undeniably, the most exciting clash was the Champions League's Round of 16 encounter between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, where over a handful of Germans filled both squads. 

Germany

Mesut Ozil: 
Alongside Arsenal colleague Per Mertesacker, Ozil was off to a good start against a Bayern Munich team containing nine of their international teammates. Ozil picked up penalty early on in the game but failed to score from the spot. The $70 million signing played all 90 minutes but getting his penalty blocked within the first ten drained the confidence of the most expensive signing on the field.

Manuel Neuer: While his German teammate suffered, Neuer was in a state of revelry after slapping Ozil's penalty kick away from danger on the eighth minute. Neuer had already been crucial in stopping a couple of earlier Arsenal attempts and went on to finish the first leg of the Round of 16 with key blocks for Bayern. The battle between Joachim Low's National Team players will happen again on March 11th at the Allianz Arena.

Toni Kroos: Assisted by Philipp Lahm, Kroos scored a stunner from outside the box to open the scoring between Arsenal and Bayern Munich. In the 54th minute, the 24-year-old Bavarian curved the ball beautifully into Lukasz Fabianski's goal, since Wojciech Szczesny was ejected before the first half ended due to committing a foul on Arjen Robben. However, since David Alaba's spot kick hit the post, it wasn't until Kroos scored in the second half that the balance of the match tipped.

Thomas Muller: Also assisted by captain Lahm, Muller scored two minutes before the final whistle, after coming on the field for Mario Mandzukic on the 64th minute. Muller gave Bayern Munich a two-goal lead ahead of the second leg Round of 16 match at the Allianz Arena with an extraordinary diving header. Jerome Boateng was responsible for the early penalty on Ozil and Mario Gotze missed a couple of chances that would have stretched the score even more for Bayern.
 
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01/17/2014
 

The saga that is Juan Agudelo may finally be reaching a conclusion. For now at least. Transfer rumors swirling about the 21-year-old have been a cluster of chaos for months now but, as every footy fan has recently learned, the young striker has finalized his move to join fellow American, Geoff Cameron at Stoke City in the English Premier League.

 

But Stoke will loan Agudelo out to FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie for the remainder of the season. 

 

According to sources, “The time away would allow the 21-year old to re-apply for a work permit before, hopefully, making a permanent move to the English Premier League.”

 

Of course, no transfer would be complete without rucksack or rumors.  “Several rumors have emerged placing the 21-year-old in a variety of locales.”  FC Twente and Standard Liege were among those reportedly in pursuit but FC Utrecht has won out and acquired the striker’s services for the remainder of the 2013-2014 campaign. 

 

FC Utrecht is currently ranked ninth in the Eredivisie but the club is expecting it’s newest short term signing to make an immediate impact.  

 
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12/28/2013
 
Juan Agudelo's move to Europe is back on. Agudelo sent out a tweet on Friday evening that read "Bout to get on my grind real soon. #new team #Europe" before promptly taking it down.

The New England Revolution striker was set to join Stoke City on January 1st, 2014 after his current contract with the MLS side expired. However, his work permit appeal was denied due to unknown circumstances and left the 21-year-old without a certain future.

His Twitter fail hinted at the fact that he would be making a move to Europe but still left fans in the dark as if it would indeed be to Stoke City, who he had already signed a pre-contract with. It's also hard to decipher whether or not Agudelo will still be gunning for the Premier League.

Stoke City have been watching the youngster for quite some time so don't be surprised if the club did the impossible to secure the signing of the USMNT rising talent after all. If not, Agudelo's career in Europe will surely catapult him into greater lengths than in Major League Soccer, regardless of the destination.

Agudelo scored seven goals for the Revs and helped the New England club reach the MLS Playoffs after a mid-season trade from Chivas USA, where he had already scored two goals. Despite obvious raw talent displayed by Agudelo, he's had sub-to-par appearances in the past MLS seasons and will be looking to change that reputation in England ahead of the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
 
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11/25/2013
 
What's cooler than a good ole' fashioned 'golazo'? The ever-growing league has had its share of golazos this season and MLS along with sponsors AT&T have come together to honor the artistry of goal-scoring.

The fans have already decided that this award will go to one of the following players in the video.


 
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11/20/2013
 
Young USMNT forward Juan Agudelo has had his hopes of a move to the English Premier League dashed. The New England Revolution striker, who turns 21 in just a few days, had his work permit application turned down by the UK authorities earlier on  Wednesday.

Agudelo signed a pre-contract agreement with Premier League side Stoke City back in August and was hoping to complete the move in the January transfer window. However, on Wednesday he discovered that the British immigration panel had turned down his request for a permit and it looks as though the young player will have to remain in the States.

Stoke City's Chief Executive Tony Scholes said in the UK press today that he was extremely frustrated by the decision. He said: "We're bitterly disappointed that the panel rejected our appeal for Juan. The criteria by which the panel should make work permit application decisions are well established and have been in place for some years, and despite recent comments to the media and discussion in the media, that criteria has not changed. 

"We are therefore left amazed that our application for a work permit for Juan has been rejected when you compare his talent and ability to players who have been granted a work permit appeal in the past. Under the rules of the appeal panel system we were given no explanation why the application was rejected and so can only speculate as to the reasons why we have been unsuccessful."

So, what's next for the precociously talented forward?

Well, Stoke can not appeal the decision any further; it's been speculated that the application was turned down due to Agudelo's age and also his ratio of appearances for the USMNT in recent months - which was hampered ahead of the Gold Cup due to an injury. Agudelo's contract with New England Revolution expires on December 31st.

Will he sign with the Revs again? Or will he try his luck in another European nation? Only time will tell.
 
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08/30/2013
 
The New England Revolution thought Juan Agudelo would at least finish the season with their club and help their young driven roster make a darkhorse push for an MLS title. Instead, they maybe forced to see him depart right now before the end of the summer. 

The Revolution have reportedly rejected Agudelo's request and Stoke's $750,000 early release money to have the American international arrive to the Premier League now. The first report was made by former Revolution goalscorer turned ESPN commentator Taylor Twelllman on his Twitter feed. 
 
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08/09/2013
 

Juan Agudelo has put pen to paper in agreement of joining the ranks at Stoke City come January 2014. Previously hinting at the fact that Agudelo could make the move as soon as the 2013/14 EPL season inaugurated, Stoke manager Mark Hughes has now confirmed that he will wait until the expiration of his current contract with the New England Revolution. 


Mark Hughes said: "We've put a lot of work into this deal and I am delighted that we have managed to get it over the line. It's a good deal for us because he is a very good young player who boasts a lot of talent as well as a lot of potential." Agudelo is an MLS homegrown player that has made his way through the youth and senior squads of the New York Red Bulls, experiencing a partnership with the legendary Thierry Henry.


"I've known of him for a couple of years now. He burst on to the scene for the United States at the age of 17 and everybody has paid attention to him since," continued Hughes. "I have kept my eye on him for the last 18 months and thankfully we were in a position where we were able to pull this deal off." In his debut match for the United States in 2010 Agudelo scored the only goal of the USMNT win over South Africa, instantly shining the international spotlight on himself.

 
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