There wasn’t exactly a lot for New England Revolution fans to cheer for on Saturday night, but there is definitely one moment worth mentioning.
New England was unable to defeat Nashville SC in a match that should have seen them picking up three points. The Revs were unable to crack Nashville’s backline even though they had 17 shots on the night and 65.9% possession. They had complete control over the game.
While it can be frustrating to not score with so many opportunities, there were some great moments for New England. Diego Fagundez entered the game in the 82nd minute. It was his 255th appearance for the Revolution and put him ahead of Matt Reis for the second-most appearances in the club’s history.
It’s a testament to how special of a player Fagundez is. He was the Revolution’s first ever homegrown player and was the youngest player in MLS history to make 200 career appearances and the second youngest to make 150 starts.
2013 was the best season of his career as Fagundez scored 13 goals and 7 assists. He was the youngest player in MLS history to score 10 or more goals. Also, Fagundez was named the most valuable player for the Revolution by the fans.
It’s clear that Fagundez is a permanent part of Revolution history. Having a veteran player like him in the locker room can be quite the advantage. Bruce Arena spoke about Fagundez after his milestone appearance on Saturday.
“Our players that have had years of experience with the club, have been fantastic,” Arena said. “Diego [Fagundez], Andrew Farrell, Teal Bunbury, Brad Knighton, and I’m sure I’m missing one or two others. Scott Caldwell. They take a lot of pride in being part of the Revolution and they’re a great influence every day in the locker room, on the field, and it’s a real positive. And Diego’s certainly been part of that.”
One of the advantages of having a veteran like Fagundez in the locker room is that he can help younger players grow. This season we have seen Tajon Buchanan jump onto the scene.
Buchanan has started four games in a row and scored the first MLS goal of his career. After Saturday’s game, Buchanan talked about how helpful it is having a veteran like Fagundez to lean on.
“It’s huge, along with all the older guys on the team who have been huge role models for me and I just look up to those guys every day. Watching them play in this league for awhile is helping me grow as a player and I’ll just keep learning from them and take it day-by-day.”
The next milestone for Fagundez is within reach. He is seven appearances away from having the most in club history. It seems rather likely that Revolution fans see that happen rather soon.
What is even more interesting is that Fagundez still has a long career to go. He is 25 years old and still has some great soccer ahead of him.
But Saturday was a special night for Fagundez even though the Revolution were unable to secure three points.