Uruguayan-born Fagundez made first MLS appearance at age 16; accomplished midfielder joins Austin FC with 10 years of professional experience and 53 goals across 265 MLS appearances
AUSTIN, Texas - Austin FC, the 27th club in Major League Soccer (MLS), announced today the signing of 25-year-old free agent midfielder Diego Fagundez. Per League and Club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Fagundez becomes Austin FC’s 16th acquisition ahead of the Club’s inaugural season in 2021.
“Diego is a player in the prime of his career who has scored over 50 goals, played over 250 matches and comes with significant MLS experience. We are fortunate to bring a 25-year-old with vast and proven experience to the Club,” commented Austin FC Sporting Director, Claudio Reyna. “Diego has played in a number of positions throughout his career and his dynamic positional flexibility is a strength that Austin FC will have the opportunity to benefit from.”
“I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career, alongside a Club creating a new chapter for an amazing city like Austin,” said Fagundez. “I am ready and motivated to represent Austin FC next season, and I look forward to giving my best for the Club.”
Fagundez (pronounced “fuh-GOON-des”), who grew up in Leominster, MA, joins Austin FC after spending the entirety of his career with the New England Revolution (2011-20), where he played 265 league games (189 starts), tying a Revolution record for appearances while scoring 53 goals (second highest in Revolution history) and tallying 45 assists. Fagundez became the youngest player to reach 100 appearances in MLS history on June 13, 2015 (20 years and 119- days-old) in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire, and the youngest player to score 25 goals in the League after scoring in a 1-0 road win against the Philadelphia Union on August 29, 2015 at the age of 20 years and 196 days. Fagundez has also registered 15 appearances (12 starts) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup between 2012-19.
The experienced midfielder signed as a Homegrown Player with New England at the age of 15 in 2010 and debuted professionally in MLS as a 16-year-old the following year, making a substitute appearance against Chivas USA on August 6, 2011. Fagundez, who was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, made four (4) appearances (two (2) starts) with the U-20 Uruguay National Team during the 2015 Campeonato Sudamericano Sub-20, helping the country qualify for its 12th U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Fagundez was eligible for MLS free agency ahead of the 2021 season after qualifying under the new League free agency rules which allow an existing MLS player who is at least 24-years-old with five (5) years of MLS experience to explore free agency if they are out-of-contract. For additional Rules and Procedure about MLS Free Agency, click here.