24 Under 24: #5 Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution

5. Diego Fagundez

Pos: M/F | New England Revolution | Age: 18

The young Uruguayan may have the most potential of anyone on this list. Still, at the tender age of 18, Fagundez has already shown his knack for scoring and setting up goals. He is technical and creative, and really came into his own this year, scoring 10 goals and assisting on six others in matches for the New England Revolution. That type of production might be impressive, but it should only grow in the coming years. Fagundez has all the tools to meet those lofty expectations, which makes tracking his development over the next few years all the more interesting.

What TDs and coaches like: "Very brave. For a guy that’s not physically as gifted as others, he’s very brave, and I mean that in a physical sense and trying to do things on the field that others may not try to do. ... He’s always trying to do something positive. His movement is usually going forward. Technically he’s very good. ... I think we’ve seen Diego become a very optimistic goalscorer. He’s dangerous right now. He’s finding little seams and spaces to really be an effective attacking player. ... He’s smart enough that he doesn’t try stuff in bad areas of the field. He’s a smart player for as young as he is. I think he has a good grasp of the game and what’s required of him. ... He’s been a pleasant surprise to me. I questioned whether he could physically cut it, and I think he’s done that. ...  He’s going to get physically stronger and he’s still 18. Give him three, four years."

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: "He needs to see if he can keep doing it over time. Does he keep getting better? Is he not a one-hit wonder? The standards are going to get raised and the expectations will get higher now. Does he keep beating those or does he plateau out? ... He’s 18; he’s not getting any bigger. He’ll get stronger and faster, though. He’s one of those guys and he fits well with the way New England plays. ... He can still be a little more tuned in on the defensive side of things. If he gets that right, he’s going to be a top player in this league.”

Opta Says: Diego Fagundez has averaged 0.6 goals per game during the 2013 season, more than any other player eligible for 24 Under 24.
 

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: N/A
Castrol Index (as of 9/20/13): #8

2013 Stats
Matches played: 25
Matches started: 22
Goals: 10
Assists: 6

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