Juan Agudelo, the promising American forward whose development has been stunted by injuries and lack of playing time with the New York Red Bulls, was traded Thursday to Chivas USA for veteran left back Heath Pearce and major financial considerations.
Chivas also sent midfielder-defender Michael Lahoud, a former D.C. area youth standout, to the Philadelphia Union for center back Danny Califf.
News of the trades first broke on the Insider Twitter page mid-day.
Agudelo, 19, is the third — and most prominent — homegrown player to leave the Red Bulls this year. Matt Kassel and Sacir Hot were released in February.
Despite his emergence with the U.S. national team, scoring against South Africa and Argentina, he wasn’t able to earn consistent playing time under Red Bulls Coach Hans Backe. He suffered a further setback early this year when he injured an ankle during national team camp. Since his return, he has appeared in four matches and started once.
With six goals in 10 games, Chivas was desperate for attacking help. Agudelo will be available for the Southern California derby Saturday night against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“In our discussions with Juan, he voiced that he wanted to have more time playing first team soccer and even explore the option of moving to another team,” New York General Manager Erik Soler said. “We wanted to help him achieve this goal and further develop his career. It has been rewarding to watch Juan develop both as a player and a person within our academy and first team and we think that playing for Chivas USA will be a great new opportunity for his career.”
Pearce, 27, has made 35 appearances for the U.S. national team. His career has taken him from Denmark and Germany to FC Dallas, Chivas USA and now New York.
In the deal, the Red Bulls also received allocation money, which can be used to acquire new players, re-sign current players or lower a player’s impact on the salary cap. They will also collect a share of a transfer fee, should Chivas sell Agudelo abroad.
Chivas bolstered its central defense by dealing for Califf, 32, a California native from the University of Maryland who has made 23 U.S. appearances. Lahoud, 25, is in his fourth season from W.T. Woodson High School (Virginia) and Wake Forest. Philadelphia will also receive allocation money.