New England Soccer Today

Revs Re-Sign Fagundez to Multi-Year Deal

Revolution forward Diego Fagundez signed a contract extension on Wednesday. (Photo: Kari Heistad/CapturedImages.biz)

Revolution forward Diego Fagundez signed a contract extension on Wednesday. (Photo: Kari Heistad/CapturedImages.biz)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – If there were any concerns that Diego Fagundez would jump ship after the contract he signed at age 15 expired, the Revolution put them to rest on Wednesday.

Even though he had a year remaining on his original deal, the 18-year-old Homegrown Player agreed to a multi-year extension that will likely keep him in New England through 2016. Per league and club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“It’s something great for me and for my family to accomplish,” Fagundez said following training on Wednesday. “It’s all about hard work and you can keep developing with the team you started with, so it’s great.”

Fagundez, who became the club’s first Homegrown Player when he signed with the team in November 2010, has played in 27 games for the Revolution, earning 11 starts along the way. Primarily featuring as a withdrawn forward, the Leominster, Mass. native has scored four goals and added three assists since making his MLS debut in August 2011.

Keeping Fagundez in Foxboro was no easy proposition. Although the teenager hasn’t yet become a fixture in the starting XI, his ability to create and challenge opposing backlines has generated buzz both Stateside and abroad.

Another sign that the former Academy star’s future is bright came last October, when he was called into Uruguay’s U-20 squad. Clearly, many sets of eyes remained fixed on the Revolution wonderkid.

In light of that, Revolution general manager Michael Burns admits that he was pleasantly surprised that the side were able to come to come to another agreement.

“A little bit, given that he had another year after this,” Burns said. “I wasn’t sure which route he would want to go, but we’re obviously pleased that he wanted to remain here.”

Fagundez certainly pondered the decision to stay in Foxboro. He knew that he could probably find a trial or negotiate a deal with another club – possibly in Uruguay.

But, in the final analysis, it all boiled down to the present, rather than the future, and all the possibilities that might or might not come to pass.

“I like the environment here, and my family (does too),” Fagundez said. “It’s a nice country and I just need to get all my stuff sorted out. It’s kind of hard to just grab all of your stuff and just move away.”

While Burns advised that the new deal was beneficial to both side, Fagundez also sees what it represents in the big picture.

Not long ago, Fagundez was one of hundreds of local youth players looking for a chance to latch on with the Revolution Youth Academy, which was launched in 2008. From those hundreds, he emerged as one of the best, not only in the Academy, but in the entire U.S. Soccer Development Academy program.

So the way Fagundez sees it, the extension isn’t so much about him as it is about the the hundreds of kids who continue to play in the Academy system.

“If you think about it now, the Academy players can (realistically) think that they have a chance,” Fagundez. “It’s a good step for me and I think it’s a good step for them to join the Academy.”

It’s a good development for the first team, as well. With Fagundez on board for the next few years, head coach Jay Heaps can continue to mold his youngest charge, hoping that he can reach the potential to become the most dynamic player to don a Revolution uniform since Clint Dempsey.

With a new deal in place, Fagundez isn’t peering years into the future, however promising. Rather, it’s all about the here and now, which suits the high school senior just fine.

“Right now, I just want to develop with the team and make me better as a player and try to help the team,” Fagundez said. “(Signing for) two more years, I can relax and not be focusing on anything else. I can just focus on playing.”

 

6 Comments

  1. Chris B

    March 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Two thumbs up for the Revs FO on this one! Great move!

  2. Jim

    March 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I suppose technically this deal will tie him to the club until he is 21. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t get unsatisfied with lack of progress / playing time / development potential / competition and demand a move, and MLS contracts aren’t exactly substantial to European teams.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say this was a “smart move” or a “great move”. It is more so a “non-boneheaded move” (Which some would argue is a great thing for the current organization). Diego is the 1 piece of pink-hat attracting marketing material the team has right now.

  3. Brian O'Connell

    March 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    A smart move, no doubt. Not only does it eliminate (for the most part) a huge distraction for a player who just turned 18, but it allows the club to lock up his rights for two more years should he turn into a legitimate transfer target.

    Btw, Jim, I believe your reference to the pink hat Revs crowd might the first I’ve ever seen on this site. And for that, I applaud you, from my part of the internets to yours.

    • Jim

      March 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      The problem I have is that a “smart move” for a normal organization would be, say, something that takes considerable foresight and analysis. Kreis, for example, makes a lot of smart signings and moves. Heaps moving up the draft for Ferrel was a good move.

      This move to me just wreaks of obviousness. This kid is your first Dempsey academy product, he makes nothing, the fans (especially pinkhats) absolutely love him, he is the face of your franchise, and he will most likely become a stud who you can sell for top dollar, or ride into the future. Wouldn’t any team say “hey, we should sign this guy”? Should we praise the Revs for NOT making stupid decisions? It just seems to obvious.

      Also, yes, Pink hats. Hank always talks about Pink hats in The Midnight Ride Podcast. He’s 100% correct. Post-game on the Revs FB feed they get CRUSHED with “Why didn’t Diego play/start/play more?” comments regardless of what happens. No anaylisis, no reaction to the loss, simply “where the f is Diego”.

      I’d wager that 90% of Revs FB posts have Diego comments on them

  4. BG

    March 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I am actually a bit surprised, Burns made it sound as though Diego approached them, is that accurate? I thought Diego was really wanted to play for Uruguay youth setup, lack of playing time and development opportunities last year might have hindered his call up early this year and seems likely to do so moving ahead. It doesn’t seem like playing for the Revs is going to help in the short term in this regard. Brian, do you have any sense of this or of any guarantees or provisions which might have been part of it (offseason loan for example)?

    That said the skeptic in me says it is driven by being a shrewd marketing move for the Revs. It also does seem like he is extremely tight knit with his family. Regardless of the reasons, I am glad to hear it; having and committing to homegrown young players is for me very important and I hope both he and Caldwell are successful (and get the tools and time necessary to develop themselves).

    • Brian O'Connell

      March 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      BG, Burns didn’t reveal who approached who first, but he did say that he and Diego’s agent sat down for discussions on Monday and were able to work out a deal on Tuesday. Based on that, it sounds like it may have been Diego’s side that made the first move. But that’s pure speculation on my part.

      As far as guarantees, bonuses, provisions…Burns remained pretty tight lipped about incentives or any other aspects of the deal when asked about it. He did hint that his salary will increase, though. Beyond that, I would assume it would be a fairly standard MLS deal.

Leave a Reply to BG Cancel reply