After signing a professional contract at age 15, Diego Fagundez has showcased his precocious talent and has quickly become a well-known threat around Major League Soccer. As a result of his success in MLS, "Biebergundez" (if you will), was included in the U-20 Uruguayan national team and made an appearance a friendly only a few weeks back. There can be no denying his ability and he needs to be at his best if the Revolution are to make a run deep into the playoffs this year.
Fagundez is currently sitting on 4 goals and 4 assists in this campaign, but hasn't been able to quite match last year's productivity - when he scored 13 and assisted 7. I must say here that I am not and never have been a fan of analyzing player's performances quantitatively, but it is clear that he is hitting a bit of a rough patch. For instance, his touch, finishing ability, and passing have all been letting him down and the young attacker has looked a bit off color. As a result of this small dip in form, Fagundez has started the last few matches from the bench with coach Heaps electing to play different options.
Fortunately, however, the Revolution have been successful without Fagundez, going 3-1-1 in their past 5 games, bolstered by strong performances from players like Kelyn Rowe, Charlie Davies, and of course Lee Nguyen. Nevertheless, Fagundez' skill, goal-scoring ability, and acceleration allow him to create chances and break down defenses making him a truly unique talent. When he is at his best, the Revolution look like an entirely different team as his presence stretches the field on either the right or left side, and gives playmakers an option out wide or through the middle. It seems as though coach Heaps realizes that this is the case, and is making sure he is brought in at the end of games in order for him to stay sharp.
So, just what role does Heaps have in mind for Fagundez for the rest of the year? Does he regain his starting role? Or does he continue to come off the bench for a change of pace? Whatever role he does play, it surely has to be a significant on because he is undoubtedly one of the most important players in this Revolution side.