FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When Diego Fagundez joined the New England Revolution’s travel party for an extended two-game road trip through Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colo., two weeks ago, he knew he’d be traveling directly from the Mile High City to Frisco, Texas, to join up with the Revolution’s youth team at the Generation adidas U17 Cup.
The 16-year-old Home Grown Player was unaware, however, that one week later he’d be flown from Frisco directly to Kansas City, Mo., to once again meet up with the first team for a match against Sporting Kansas City.
It was all part of a whirlwind 13-day expedition which included six games in four different cities for the globetrotting Fagundez.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, another trip right now?’” Fagundez joked when asked about his reaction to being told his services were required in Kansas City. “I actually like it, because all three trips I was with the (first) team on the bench, we got points. So I feel like I’m the lucky charm right here.”
While Fagundez didn’t see action as the Revolution’s first team picked up one win and two draws on their travels, the Leominster, Mass., resident featured in three matches at the Generation adidas U17 Cup, registering two goals and two assists before departing for Kansas City following the group stage.
The constant shuttling between the first team and youth team proved challenging for Fagundez, who claims each situation had to be handled differently.
“I just had to focus,” he said. “If I was in [Frisco], I just had to focus on the Academy and then when I traveled to Kansas City, of course I was focused with the first team.
“When I was with the first team, it’s more competitive so I knew I had to focus more and be ready if I went in,” Fagundez continued. “Then when I was with the Academy team I had to focus, too, because I just played the same way I always do.”
Although Fagundez is still waiting for the chance to make his MLS debut after being an unused substitute in each of the last three games, the rising high school sophomore believes the experience gained from his travels with the first team will be crucial as he continues to adjust at the professional level.
“Just watching the team from the bench is actually the best experience I have right now, because now I just have to wait for the moment to get on the field,” Fagundez said. “I feel like they put me on the bench so I can get used to the team and everything. When I go in, I think I’ll be ready.”