The New England Revolution have announced today in a team press release that midfielder/winger/teen sensation Diego Fagundez, a native of Uruguay, has gained permanent resident status from the U.S. government and will now count as a domestic player on the Revolution's roster.
With the change to Fagundez's residency status, the Revolution currently has five players who occupy international spots on the roster: Jerry Bengtson (Honduras), Jose Goncalves (Portugal), Dimitry Imbongo (Congo), Saer Sene (France) and O'Brian Woodbine (Jamaica).
The Revolution signed Fagundez in November 2010 as the team's first-ever Homegrown player after he spent a year-and-a-half playing with the Revolution Academy's youth teams. He also approached the Revolution front office earlier this season as extended his deal.
A candidate for Major League Soccer's Volkswagen MVP award this year, the Leominster, Mass., product is no the Revs' leading scorer - with 13 goals this year - and is tied for fifth in the league in scoring. At 18, he is the youngest-ever MLS player to score 10 or more goals in a season, and is the league's all-time leading teenage goal-scorer. His 17 career goals in just three seasons are tied for 10th in club history.
Last Saturday, Fagundez was named the 2013 Revolution MVP, becoming the youngest team MVP in club history. Fagundez scored the game-winner against the Columbus Crew to keep the Revs in contention for a playoff spot this season, which would be their first since 2009 if they make it.
This is obviously HUGE news. Just about everyone has been wondering what the hold up was with his U.S. Residency ever since he signed for the Revs. Whatever it was exactly, we may not know, but all that matters is that he is now an official American and frees up yet another international spot for the Revs heading into the off-season. Don't be surprised if Fagundez is the first name on the United States Men's National Team U-23's team sheet in a couple years' time.