The 2014 MLS Season is now a mere two weeks away and the time is right to put together your fantasy teams. Over on MLSsoccer.com all a fan needs to do is pick their 18 favorite players with a set budget of $120 million, and the chance to win over $10,000 worth of prizes is instantly up for grabs. And if you are serious about getting that pile of cash, picking New England Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez is a must.
After playing limited minutes throughout the 2011 and 2012 seasons in New England, the 2013 MLS Season turned out to be a breakout year for the midfielder. The 19-year-old started off the season by coming off the bench for four of the first five games in 2013, but went on to start 29 out of the last 31 games the Revolution played, and become a offensive force along the way. He scored 13 goals — good for most on new England and fifth in MLS — and contributed five more assists, in turn helping the Revolution earn a surprising run the MLS Cup Playoffs conference semifinals.
What makes Fagundez such an effective player is that he has multiple dimensions to attack defenders with, as he has great pace, technical ability and a knack for finding teammates. In terms of speed it is nearly impossible for defenders to keep up with the youngster, as he can seemingly go from a standstill to full speed in an instant. Furthermore, when he uses this speed to drive in from the midfield, defenders must worry about whether or not he will tear them apart by dribbling right around them, or finding a forward with a pinpoint pass.
When you combine all of this talent with a New England attacking force that is one of the best in the league, you have a deadly combination. Just this offseason the Revolution have acquired Teal Bunbury to go alongside designated player Jerry Bengtson, former USMNT forward Charlie Davis, winger Saer Sene and first-round pick Patrick Mullins. When you add along offensive minded midfielders Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe, you have a Revolution roster that is loaded with offensive talent, which in turn will make it more nearly impossible to mark Fagundez for 90 minutes.
And even though Fagundez will likely rank amongst the top goal scorers in all of MLS in 2014, he can be bought for a relative bargain at $8.0 million. In comparison, Landon Donovan, Tim Cahill, Brad Davis, Graham Zusi and Javier Morales are all going for $11.0 million, and the 19-year-old was well within each in terms of total points. For the whole of the season the youngster had 148 points, which ranked 10th amongst midfielders, and 38th amongst all players, despite the fact he was barely featured for the first five games of the season.
Moving into the 2014 MLS Season, there is no doubting that the sky is the limit for Fagundez. The 19-year-old has an absolutely electric skill set, is continuing to master the pro game and has a great team around him to pull it all together. Look out for a 18-21 goal season with ten assists to boot, and a point total in the range of 170-190, which will lead to the youngster being one of the ten best fantasy players in MLS. All in all, if you want to win that $10,000 prize then you better get this youngster early.