FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Despite missing out on the playoffs this year the New England Revolution ended the 2018 campaign on a positive note with a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium.
Finishing with a win and a clean sheet were not the only bright spots of New England’s night. The difference for the Revs came from Diego Fagundez, who not only scored the only goal of the match, but also marked a huge personal milestone, as he became the youngest player in MLS history to notch 50 career goals (23 years, 254 days old).
“I was hungry for it,” said Fagundez. “Everybody could tell I was trying to shoot, trying to look for it, and when I saw that one, I touched it and shot and it went in … It was a relief.
“I’ve been looking for it for a while, and for it to happen, it’s huge, especially (because) it was at home so I got to celebrate with everybody in my family and all the fans who have always supported me from the first goal to the 50th, and now hopefully a lot more where that came from.”
The 23-year-old was able to celebrate his accomplishment at Gillette Stadium, in front of all of the Revs’ loyal supporters who have shown him unwavering dedication since signing as a young 15-year-old Homegrown player in 2010.
Fagundez has not been shy about the accomplishments he’s reached at such early stages of his career. Dating back to Fagundez’s very first MLS game in 2011, he stepped onto the field and scored his first career goal in that same match. He also became the youngest player in MLS to score 25 goals in 2015.
Now looking at the 2018 campaign, the Leominster, Mass., native has expanded upon that impressive list – first midseason by becoming the youngest player in MLS history to make 200 appearances, and then finishing off the campaign with this new achievement.
“I don’t think anyone in that locker room is surprised that Diego is the youngest to get to 50 (goals),” said seven-year teammate Kelyn Rowe. “He puts the work in every week, he grows as a player each and every year, and we’re so proud of him. We’re all going to congratulate him when we get in there, but no one’s surprised.”
The work ethic that drives Fagundez is evident to his teammates not only during matches, but every single day in training.
“Diego is a top, top player – a quality player,” said six-year teammate Andrew Farrell. “It’s an amazing accomplishment for him and he’s been doing it for this club for a long time at a high level. It’s great to see him do that. I know it means a lot to him and to the fans – being one of the Homegrowns and being one of the guys that’s been a staple here for a long time.”
With eight MLS seasons under his belt by the age of 23, Fagundez’s future remains bright. On his current path, great things are expected to continue for Fagundez throughout his career.