Count Juan Agudelo as one of the few New England residents who is dreading June. That’s because the New England Revolution striker and U.S. men’s national team player knows the World Cup buzz will be unavoidable. Alas, the red-white-and-blue won’t taking the field in Russia. They’ll be watching from home, as the U.S. failed to qualify for the 32-team tournament for the first time since 1986.
Photo Credit: USA Today
“It’s an awful feeling. Every time it’s brought up, it brings up emptiness. The World Cup is only every four years, and that’s a lot of years in a soccer player’s career,” the 25-year-old says. “We’re going to be playing games while the World Cup is going on, so hopefully that does take away the sting.”
Instead of looking toward the summer, Agudelo’s yearlong sights are set on a December match, specifically a desire to be playing in the MLS Cup on Dec. 8. He hopes to score 10 or more goals this season, while helping lead New England to the title game in head coach Brad Friedel’s first year. The Revs kicked off their season earlier this month, and Agudelo, who is entering his fifth season with the team, gave us a peek into what his game day is like.
Photo Credit: USA Today
From an app that wakes him up to an evening filled with movies, Juan Agudelo fills us in on his routine when the Revs are playing a Saturday night home game.
MORNING: I sleep in as long as I can. I try to get up on the lowest part of my sleep cycle, using an app that wakes you up when you’re not in a deep sleep. I eat an omelette on top of toast—it’s a pretty big breakfast because I want to eat two meals before the game, not three.
MID-MORNING: I hang around my place and watch some European soccer games. I try to keep my feet elevated during this time.
MIDDAY: I make myself some pasta with chicken and tomato sauce. I try to load up on carbs and avoid dairy. I shower and gather my outfit for the stadium. I always say, “Look good, feel good, play good.”
MID-AFTERNOON: I get in the car and make my way to Gillette Stadium, about a 25 minute drive. During the ride, I listen to a lot of happy, positive music like Colombian salsa from Grupo Niche, some reggaeton and some light hip-hop—not too crazy—by Big Sean.
EARLY EVENING: I don’t like sitting around or getting to the stadium too early or else I feel too anxious about the game. So I try to arrive two hours before it starts. I get changed and hit the massage table for a light rub to wake up my leg muscles. Then I do a light stretch, watch some video of the opponent and ride the stationary bike for a mile or two. That really gets my blood flowing and gets me warm pretty quickly. Then it’s game time.
HALFTIME: I drink a full Gatorade and lay on the floor, stretching my hamstrings and maybe using some heating pads to keep them warm.
POSTGAME: I shower, change and do interviews before I go out to see my family. Then I often head home and watch the game again if it was a win. I have trouble sleeping after games, so I stay up watching movies. Occasionally, I go out with a couple of friends to a place like Yvonne’s. I actually don’t drink alcohol, but I go to listen to some music. Big Papi told me about the restaurant because he’s a partner there.