Back on November 15, 2010 the then 14-year-old Diego Fagundez signed as the first HomeGrown Player in New England Revolution history. Fast-forward ten MLS seasons and Fagundez is now 25-years-old and has appeared in 261 MLS matches for the Revs which ties Shalrie Joseph for the club record.
Before we get ahead of ourselves here let’s flashback to when Fagundez broke in with the Revolution. Back when the Leominster, Massachusetts native was in his first season he actually was roommates with Joseph who was 31-years-old at the time and a few years away from setting what was the club’s all-time record.
“To be honest, when I was 15 he was actually my roommate,” said Diego Fagundez on what it meant to play with Joseph for three seasons. “To be where I’m at right now and hopefully pass him is going to be something amazing. I never thought that I would do that. But at the same time, him and Matt Reis definitely brought me under their arms and they taught me a lot of stuff to be a professional- what it took, what I had to do. To this day I still thank them and I’m still trying to do new things, to learn new things. I know he’s trying to new things too and learn. I’m just trying to play my game and hopefully a lot more records can be broken. There’s definitely going to be more times for that. But this one, hopefully Sunday I can do it and it’s going to be great. We’re all looking forward to it. Like I said, it’s one game away.”
A Lot Has Happened In The Past Ten Years
Looking back over Diego’s tenure with the Revolution and seeing the changes that have occurred in MLS, in New England, and all over the world is rather fascinating. In Diego’s ten years in New England he has played for six different head coaches, two of which were interim’s. New England since 2011 has made the playoffs in five of 11 seasons. The 25-year-old has scored 53 goals and tallied 37 assists. The ups and downs of his career are as clear as day. In 2013 it looked like Fagundez at 17-years-old would be the next MLS superstar.
In his third season in MLS he had scored 13 goals, tallied five assists and ranked in the top 10 in a number of key categories in the league. Ever since 2013 it has been a slow down-hill slide with peaks and valley’s in-between. Over time his roles have changed with Arena at times using him as a defensive midfielder and at other times as a spark in the final third. Chances are Fagundez will have the chance to run up his appearance count quite a bit and on Sunday with an appearance he would surpass Joseph’s record.
“Hopefully a lot more playing time,” said Fagundez on what he hopes the future will hold for him. “I talked to him the other day and I was like, ‘Shalrie by the time I’m retired I could have 700 games by now,’ and he started laughing. Everybody starts different, different age. I was lucky enough to start young so hopefully by the time I’m 34 I can have 500 games under my belt. If that’s accomplished, that would definitely be a great accomplishment for me. I’m still trying to figure out myself if there’s any player in MLS that has 500 appearances because I would love to know. That’s something that’s one of my goals. Hopefully when I’m 34, 35 I’m still playing like some of these guys. I’d love to make it happen, hopefully.”
This season Fagundez has appeared in 19 matches, nine starts, and has scored one goal. Fagundez will have the chance to break Joseph’s record this Sunday when the Revolution take on D.C. United at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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