New England Soccer Today

Fagundez ‘Excited’ to Rep Uruguay in Youth Tourney

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Two days after making the final cut for the Uruguay U-20 team that will play in the upcoming South American Youth Championship, Diego Fagundez expressed his eagerness to play for his native country in a press release from the Revolution.

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent Uruguay at the U-20 Championship,” Fagundez said in the release, “and to have the tournament held in the country that I was born makes it that much more special.”

Fagundez, 19, was born in Montevideo, and moved to Massachusetts with his family when he was five years old. Initially, he was part of the U.S. Under-14 pool, and was called into the program’s U-15 camp before it was discovered that he did not have U.S. citizenship.

In 2012, he was invited to play in a pair of friendlies with the Uruguay U-20s, but was not tied to his native country because both matches were not officially sanctioned by FIFA.

Last year, Fagundez revealed that he had applied for U.S. citizenship with the idea of playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team. However, he would have to wait five years to gain full citizenship, prohibiting him from playing for the U.S. until 2018.

Knowing he wouldn’t get the opportunity to play for the U.S. anytime soon, Fagundez accepted a second invitation from the Uruguay U-20s to play in the South American Youth Championship, which kicks off on Jan. 14 in Uruguay. He made the final cut after scoring twice and adding two assists in a series of pre-tournament friendlies.

Even though Fagundez will forfeit any chance to represent the U.S. should he see the field – a likely scenario given the congested tournament schedule – it appears that he’s not looking back given the opportunity ahead of him.

“I will give everything that I have to try and help my team win a championship at home in front of our fans,” Fagundez said.

Uruguay’s first game is set for Jan. 15 when they’ll face Colombia. Their four-game Group stage schedule will be squeezed into an eight-day window that concludes on Jan. 23 against Venezuela.

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