Few New England Revolution players have seemed as joyful as Diego Fagundez performing at Gillette Stadium. Fagundez had good reason to seem happy. He was playing for his hometown team, and had been scoring goals for the Revolution from the time he was a high school sophomore.
By his 10th year with the Revolution, though, the fun was over. Fagundez (Leominster, Mass.) had been relegated to the bench after contract negotiations broke down (or never got started, according to Fagundez) late in the 2020 season. So, Fagundez went the free agent route, got the deal he wanted from Austin FC, and is now in his second season as a starter.
Fagundez, 27, is not only enjoying the game again, but he has emerged among the best MLS playmakers. After 14 games, Fagundez totaled seven assists, tied for the league lead with the Revolution’s Carles Gil and two others. Gil, by the way, earned the league’s Most Valuable Player award last season and is making more than $3 million in annual salary. Fagundez might not claim to be on Gil’s level, but he is showing the Revolution had probably been low-balling him, never paying him more than $250,000 a year. He is now on $400,000 with Austin FC.
In any case, Fagundez seems recharged, motivated partly by having been rejected by the Revolution.
So we asked Fagundez if he would have stayed had the Revolution upped their offer.