Jersey Number: 14
Hometown: Leominster, Massachusetts
Former club: New England Revolution
Back before Austin FC had even hit the pitch, midfielder Diego Fagundez played foot golf with members of Los Verdes, an Austin FC fan club. Fagundez told them once he made his first goal, he'd throw up the LV in their honor.
Three months later, Fagundez proved true to his word when he made not only his first goal with the program but also the first goal in club history.
"Did I think I was going to be the first person to score a goal for this club and for the city? No, but was given the chance to do that," Fagundez said. "I care about this team as much as (the fans) do, and hopefully I can give a lot more than just one goal."
Before ATXFC, Fagundez had already made MLS history at the New England Revolution. At 26, he's already had 265 MLS appearances and been in the league for 10 years. He's the youngest player to reach 200 appearances and the first homegrown player to log 10,000 minutes in the league.
Fagundez's meteoric rise started young—at 15, he couldn't drive himself to practices when he signed with the Revolution as one of the youngest players in league history. Fagundez was entering his sophomore year of high school when he made his first professional appearance as a sub against Chivas USA. His presence was immediately felt, and 20 minutes into his career he had already made his first-ever professional goal.
Just like the Austin FC goal, Fagundez said he was ready to make a name for himself when he first ran onto a professional pitch. "In my head that day, I said to myself, make sure you do something that people will recognize your name," Fagundez said. "I come to a new team, and I want to do the same thing. I want people to know who I am and what I what I'm capable of."
In October 2018, 23-year-old Fagundez once again hit a career milestone as he reached 50 career goals at an age when many make their professional debut.
A native to Uruguay, Fagundez has made four international appearances with the U-20 Uruguay National Team, where he helped his home country qualify for the U-20 FIFA World Cup in the 2015 Campeonato Sudamericano.
Rumors swirled in 2020 that Fagundez was getting offers from Liga MX clubs at the same time that he was given a not-so-great offer by the Revolution. Instead of leaving the MLS, Fagundez took a chance with the fledgling Austin FC program. The rest is, quite literally, history.
With Austin FC
While at the lake, Fagundez told his father that he was interested in a new program—Austin FC. Three days later, he got the call, and everything but his hair—so far—went Verde.
"Right away, I was very happy," Fagundez said. "My energy is here, I'm 100% committed, And I want to make the city, all the fans, all my teammates and myself all happy."
Now sporting a blonde buzzcut instead of the maroon mohawk of his teenage years, Fagundez has had to prove he's not "washed up" at only 26 years old, and Austin FC provided the perfect opportunity.
He's proven it well—though he hasn't secured a permanent starting spot over Designated Player Tomas Pochettino, he still got his chance to shine when Pochettino was benched due to an MLS request. Just like a decade ago, Fagundez made his presence known when he scored the club's first goal.
Head Coach Josh Wolff said the man of the hour's goal was well-deserved.
"I've always enjoyed watching him play," Wolff said. "Physically, I was really impressed with what he was able to do. I was happy for him."
More than making history, Fagundez is looking to help the team hold up a trophy at the end of the season.
"Goals are nice, but at the end of the day, what matters is trophies and winning games," Fagundez said. "I came here because I want to win games and I want to show the people that I still am capable of playing. Ten years are amazing, let's make it 20."
Off the pitch
With his natural soccer IQ, it's no surprise that Fagundez comes from a futbol family.
Fagundez was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to Washington Fagundez, a former professional footballer, and Alicia Pepe, who played club soccer herself.
When Fagundez was too young to drive himself to practice, his father would often nap in the car during training, but eventually, Revs staff invited him in. From then on, Washington was a staple at his son's practices, greeting Fagundez' teammates and coaches as he made his daily walk up the stands to watch his son follow in his footsteps.
Now Fagundez has a family of his own. He's a father to two children, Maria and Liam. Fagundez also has a pack of four dogs, who he calls "part of his family," and due to his passion for eggs, he's got a coop full of chickens as well.
Fagundez has sported many hair cuts and colors throughout his career. When asked if he would ever dye it Verde, the man of many colors said he isn't a big fan of the look. Still, he might just take the step to become Los Verdes' No. 1 player. "You never know," he said. "It might go green someday."
- Before kickoff: the ultimate guide to all things Austin FC - austonia ›
- Austin FC looks to get a win streak going against Minnesota - austonia ›
- Despite lineup changes, Austin FC stages a comeback for first-ever ... ›
- Austin FC midfielder Alex Ring was once NYCFC captain - austonia ›
- Julio Cascante comes from Portland Timbers to Austin FC - austonia ›
- Designated Player Cecilio Dominguez is joining Austin FC in his ... ›
- Ben Sweat brings years of MLS experience to Austin FC - austonia ›
- Sebastian Berhalter is Austin FC's youngest team member - austonia ›
- PROFILE: Tomas Pochettino brings creativity to Austin FC roster ... ›
- Austin FC beats Minnesota 1-0 for first-ever win streak - austonia ›
- Austin FC is looking for a three-match win streak at Kansas City - austonia ›
- Jared Stroud is a playmaker and fan supporter at Austin FC - austonia ›
- Where to watch Austin FC's match vs. Sporting Kansas City this weekend - austonia ›
- Austin FC fights to keep a clean sheet at the half against Sporting KC - austonia ›
- Austin FC loses 2-1 after catastrophic red card - austonia ›
- Watch parties for Austin FC vs. LA Galaxy this weekend - austonia ›
- Austin FC fan Brad Tillery gets Verde Keeper kit from Stuver - austonia ›
- 'Number one fans:' Austin FC fathers balance family, soccer and being the coolest dads at Career Day - austonia ›
Expect some whiplash this week, Austinites: with an expected high of 103 degrees, Monday is predicted to be the hottest day of the year, but a midweek cold front is on the way to bring that first glimpse of fall.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport could see its first 100-degree temperature this year on Monday as temperatures citywide are expected to exceed this year's record of 102 degrees.
The cold front arrives Tuesday afternoon to evening.#atx #atxwx #cbsaustinwx https://t.co/rQni6ug3y4 pic.twitter.com/PoFeHPYtnM
— Chikage Windler WX (@ChikageWeather) September 20, 2021
After a typical summery Tuesday with highs in the mid-90s, Wednesday will welcome the first signs of fall as a cold front drops lows into the 50s.
Expect more wind and a chance of rain come Tuesday with a 40% chance of scattered storms. The cold front, which should last through Friday, will bring drier, crisper air that could cause fire hazards on Wednesday.
Highs will be in the upper 80s and lows in the 50s and lower 60s for the front's final two mornings.
After near record heat today, a cold front arrives tomorrow! Hang in there South-Central Texas, we have almost made it. pic.twitter.com/yd9UbNo7hY
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) September 20, 2021
- 5 places to visit in Austin this summer - austonia ›
- 5 new Austin eats for you to try this summer - austonia ›
- Top summer travel destinations and where Austin ranks - austonia ›
- Heat wave shows up in Austin this weekend—and stays - austonia ›
- Beat the heat at these iconic swimming holes in and around Austin ... ›
- Seattle and Austin swap weather forecasts this week - austonia ›
Around 75 dogs died in a fire Saturday night at Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, according to the Georgetown Fire Department, leaving dozens of owners to mourn the losses of their furry companions.
The fire department arrived on the scene less than five minutes after 911 calls started flooding in at 10:56 p.m. At their arrival, they found flames and clouds of smoke, according to GFD Chief John Sullivan.
Twenty-five firefighters were on the scene, hoping to save as many lives as possible, initially trying to open some ventilation and control the smoke, though they were unable to save any dogs. Sullivan said his heart goes out to the families of the victims of the fire.
"I've been doing this for 29 years and this is the first incident that I've had where we've lost so many pets," Sullivan said. "I hate to use that term because, to me, a pet is a lot more than a pet—it is the closest friend. I wish I could convey my internal emotions adequately. I just wish I could go back in time to make it better."
Families of the fallen pets, who are believed to have died from smoke inhalation, have created a memorial outside the pet resort's fence complete with flowers, photos, notes and beloved toys of their friends.
No people were discovered at the scene—Ponderosa's boarding policies state that the staff feels that pets sleep better at night when no employees are there, so the pets are left unattended at night.
The fire department is still working to discover what caused the fire. Despite fire and smoke damage to the inside, the outer metal exterior survived the blaze. Based on the type of construction and occupancy type, the building was not required to have a sprinkler system.
"Quite frankly, I view my personal pet as probably my closest confidant, friend and the one that doesn't judge, so my heart just breaks," Sullivan said.
The fire claimed the lives of dog duo Bunny and Clyde, leaving owners and newlywed couple Don and Pam Richard devastated and angry KXAN reports, saying they wouldn't have left the dogs had they known they would be left unattended at night.
The Richard family is planning to petition the city of Georgetown, making it so that animals in professional care are never left unattended again.
- 9 dog-friendly Austin eateries that will give you a new leash on life ›
- Dog-killing algae confirmed in Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake ... ›
- Animal rights activist Jeanne Daniels destroys the Tarrytown ... ›
After months of speculation, a new report says political personality Beto O'Rourke is mulling a run for Texas governor that he will announce later this year.
Sources tell Axios the former congressman is preparing his campaign for the 2022 election, where he will likely vie for the position against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. The only other candidate that has announced he will take on Abbott for governor is former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West—no Democrats have announced they are running as of yet.
"No decision has been made," Axios reports David Wysong, O'Rourke's former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, said. "He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."
A new poll from The Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler shows O'Rourke is narrowing the gap between himself and Abbott's prospects for governor. In the poll, 37% said they'd vote for O'Rourke over Abbott, while 42% said they'd vote for Abbott.
Abbott has been in the hot seat due to his handling of COVID-19 and the signing of landmark legislation into law, including new abortion and voting rights laws; 54% of poll respondents voted they think the state is headed in the "wrong direction." Still, Texas hasn't had a Democrat as governor since the 90s.
O'Rourke's people-focused approach to the 2018 Senator race, which he lost to Sen. Ted Cruz, gave him a widespread following and many hoped he'd throw his hat into the ring since he said he was considering it earlier this year.
"We hope that he's going to run," Gilberto Hinojosa, the state chair of the Democratic Party, told Axios. "We think he'll be our strongest candidate. We think he can beat Abbott because he's vulnerable."