FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Everything started with Diego Fagundez's long awaited breakthrough against Real Salt Lake last weekend.
Fagundez, the young New England Revolution forward, spent the first 10 games of this season searching for a goal to reinforce his evident growth from week to week. His performances warranted it. He just couldn't procure it for some reason.
Once the critical moment finally arrived in that cathartic 4-0 triumph over RSL, Fagundez knew he laid the foundation for the next few matches. His double in the 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC on Sunday reinforced the benefits of that belief and spurred the Revs to a second victory in succession.
“It’s one of those crazy things: I don’t know why, but the first one is the hardest for me,” Fagundez told MLSsoccer. “Once I get that first one, my confidence boosts and I know the second and the third will come.”
The two critical goals Sunday arrived in a 10-minute stretch to secure three points for the Revs and illustrated the potency Fagundez has when everything clicks. His first goal resulted from a timely run to the back post after the Revs claimed possession in a good area, while the second resulted from a determined, incisive run out of midfield to use Kei Kamara's deft hold-up play.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps embraced Fagundez’s goals, but he truly welcomed the 22-year-old’s consistent contributions week after week. Heaps suggested Fagundez benefited from his ability to mine those spots regularly and toil earnestly on and off the ball until the rewards arrived over the past two weeks.
“I really feel like Diego is confident and dangerous right now,” Heaps said.
The onus falls on Fagundez to continue his prolific form and play his part in the Revolution’s sustained production in front of goal. The past two weeks offered a glimpse of how his ruthlessness sparks the Revs when they hit full flight. It is now on his shoulders to sustain the run as he and his teammates seek to consolidate their collective gains.
“Now I just have to keep playing the same way I’ve been playing,” Fagundez said. “Nothing changes. I just have to help out the team as much as possible. When I get those chances, I need to finish them.”