New England Soccer Today

Fagundez Finds His Stride

Photo credit: Jeff Bernstein

Photo credit: Jeff Bernstein

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The lone goal of Saturday’s match between the Revolution and New York City may have came off the foot of Lee Nguyen, but there was no question that Diego Fagundez had a standout performance only a week after he was left out of the XI against the Red Bulls.

Fagundez, who started on the right side of the midfield over Juan Agudelo, was active on both ends of the field, pushing the tempo on the offensive end and providing much-needed help to a make-shift back line on the defensive end, and most notably, provided the assist on Nguyen’s goal.

“I thought Diego was very good tonight,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “I thought he brought the right mindset and it was an aggressive plan on our end because we want Diego to be in those attacking positions and what we ask of him is to really put that effort in defensively and tonight I thought that he was really good on both sides of the ball.”

Fagundez went the full 90 and registered two shots on the night, along with the assist. The Homegrown Player was vital to the run of play that led to the goal.

Fagundez received the ball from Jeremy Hall in the midfield before playing a back-and-forth with Daigo Kobayashi. He then slotted a seeking pass through the defense to Nguyen, who finished the chance. The trio of Fagundez, Kobayashi and Nguyen appeared to be on a different level with their communication.

“I think it kind of just happens in the game,” Fagundez said about their communication. “You start playing the ball with someone and you feel comfortable so you try to look for them more. I think we were just trying to combine in the middle with all the players we have. We have such great talent in the middle that it’s easy to just combine with someone. Us three were trying to do everything we can to make plays happen.”

Fagundez’s resurgent play caught the eye of more than one of his teammates.

“Diego was great,” Revolution captain Chris Tierney said. “I thought that he had a lot of energy tonight. He was up and back, he defended as well which I thought was important. I think Diego, every time we play at home, he shows his quality. There’s something about him playing at Gillette that I think really suits him. I thought he was great.”

While Tierney and Heaps were complimentary, forward Charlie Davies gave a true look into how important the performance was for the young midfielder.

“I’ve said it all along: Diego had to go through a season like he did last year,” Davies said. “Where he’s coming off such a high, scoring [thirteen] goals in the league and being a prime-time, big MLS player at such a young age. Then the following season, things not going for him so well. And having to stay positive, having to keep working and understanding that this game is a lot of ups and downs.

“Sometimes you have confidence, and sometimes you don’t, but you’ve gotta keep working. You’ve gotta stay positive and he’s been able to do that. Kudos to him because I’ve always kept talking to him to make sure that he’s taking the right steps to be a professional – to fulfilling his potential. I think he’s done a terrific job, this season, of whenever he’s coming in, he’s making an impact. So he’s taken a huge step forward, and those are things you love to see.”

Fagundez will look to keep his momentum moving forward as the Revolution travel to Chicago next week, the only other team the locals have defeated since the beginning of May.

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