For the second consecutive preseason, there’s a bit of drama down on the soccer side of Patriot Place.
Last year, it was Lee Nguyen, the then-incumbent central attacking midfielder who had held out for three and a half weeks at the start of preseason training. By all accounts, he had asked for — and was initially rejected — a trade out of Foxborough.
This year, the swirling winds of rumor and innuendo centered on Diego Fagundez, the incumbent central attacking midfielder, the Revolution’s first Homegrown signing — and may I add, the soccer-playing pride of the Pioneer Plastics City. Over the weekend, reports filtered out of his native Uruguay that Club Nacional de Football, one of the two Uruguayan soccer powers based in Montevideo, inquired about DF14’s services. Another report suggested Fagundez wants out of New England.
And as we reported Tuesday afternoon, Fagundez countered that claim. He said that he “never said” he “wanted to leave.” He added Nacional reached out to him, Fagundez told them to contact the Revs’ front office.
From what he said, the Revolution rejected the offer.
There are a couple of differences that I’d like to point out here. First, there is no indication in Fagundez’s case that he’s pressing for an exit, unlike Nguyen had in asking several times for an outgoing transfer.
The second difference is the tone both men used when BostonSportsJournal.com spoke with them about their situations. Last April, after not being named in Brad Friedel’s first six matchday squads of the season, Nguyen expressed beleaguered annoyance with the questioning and said, a few times after protracted sighing, that “I’m here doing my job, doing everything that is asked of me.”
Tuesday with Fagundez? He was cheerful, answered the questions diplomatically, and didn’t seem annoyed at all with the situation.
And why would he?