AUSTIN (THE STRIKER TEXAS) — As soon as the ball hit the back of the net, Hernan Gonzalez took a mental picture. He knew he didn’t want to forget this.
In the 60th minute of last Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids, Diego Fagúndez had just scored the first goal in Austin FC history. Gonzalez was standing in a sea of verde, with some of his closest friends since childhood and more than 200 others who made the trip.
Next to him, Kako Jiménez started crying. To fully understand why, you have to go back to the beginning.
Fagúndez, 26, knew at the end of the 2020 season that a chapter of his life was about to end. He’d turned pro at 15, scored his first professional goal at 16, and spent nearly a decade making his name as the first academy product of the New England Revolution. Now, he needed a fresh start.
He was sipping a traditional yerba maté at the family’s lake house near Sterling, Mass. when his father and agent, Washington Fagúndez, asked which team he wanted to play for. His response: Austin FC.
Three days later, before Washington even had a chance to reach out, Diego received a call from Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna and chief scout Manuel Junco. He couldn’t believe his ears.
“When we told them the story, they’re like, ‘this is the weirdest thing,’” Diego said. “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
Read the full story here on how Fagundez honored a months-old promise to the members of Los Verdes.