The New England Revolution picked up the purchase options on both Cristian Penilla and Luis Caicedo’s 2018 loan deals on Friday, a key first step in retooling the roster after a disappointing season that fell woefully short of expectations.
Penilla, the team’s reigning MVP and leading scorer, and Caicedo, a starting central midfielder, were presumed locks to return in 2019, but needed the club to pay both Mexico’s Pachuca and Colombia’s Cortuluá, respectively, an undisclosed fee to remain in Foxborough.
Penilla, 27, recorded 12 goals and seven assists in 33 appearances in 2018. He spent most of his time on the left wing, but interchanged regularly with fellow attackers Teal Bunbury and Diego Fagundez.
Caicedo, 22, made 30 appearances in central midfield and contributed one goal and four assists. He typically played next to either Wilfried Zahibo or Scott Caldwell.
Friday’s announcement marked the team’s official transaction of the offseason.
“This year both Penilla and Caicedo were impactful players on the field for us and we felt it was important to exercise both players’ permanent transfer options at the start of the offseason,” General Manager Michael Burns said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to seeing both players continue to grow and contribute to the team’s success moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Juan Agudelo’s future in New England is increasingly in doubt. A report surfaced Thursday that indicated teams in Mexico, Spain and Turkey are interested in the 25-year-old striker, who is officially out of contract Jan. 1.
Agudelo scored three goals and added four assists in 13 appearances during the 2018 season. The 25-year-old has been linked with a potential international move for most of the last year.
New England is expected to announce its decisions regarding contract options in the coming days.