The way he plays on the field, it would be easy to forget Diego Fagúndez is one of the youngest players in Major League Soccer, but as one of the league’s highest profile Homegrown Players, the Uruguayan-born attacker’s age is never far from fan’s minds. Having scored 21 goals in his first 69 career matches, Fagúndez makes it easy to tout the fact he’s only 19 years old.
One of the rights of passage that comes with that age happens to Fagúndez next week. On June 5 in Fitchburg, Mass., the Revolution star will receive his high school diploma from Goodrich Academy, graduating in four years despite spending the bulk of that time beginning his career in professional soccer.
Fagúndez was signed by New England in Nov. 2010 while a freshman in high school and made his full Revolution debut the following April in U.S. Open Cup. During the ensuing years he went from part-time status (314, 770 MLS minutes played his first two seasons) to a full-time player, registering 2427 minutes for Jay Heaps over 31 appearances last season.
Of course, his raw time on the field isn’t what sets Fagúndez apart, though the minutes alone are impressive for a player who’s also finishing high school. Last year, Fagúndez scored 14 goals. After recovering from a slow start, his early 2014 returns give him a chance to challenge those totals. Through 12 games, Fagúndez has four goals and three assists.
But consider the implications of those last couple of sentences – how easy it is to move on from Fagúndez’s age and talk about him as if he’s not going to be walking down an aisle next Thursday in a cap and gown. We discuss Fagúndez like we’d discuss some of the 21 and 22-year-olds that are in the draft each year, but he isn’t even close to that age, yet. In MLS terms, this kid’s just a pup.
On Thursday, that pup takes another step forward, earning an honor which reminds us how far he still has to go.
John Terry is a Chelsea legend.
It is the only team he’s every played for and even at the age of 35 the legendary captain of the Blues looks better than ever.
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That’s why when he announced in January that the club wasn’t going to offer him a new deal and he’d likely be on his way this summer, fans of Chelsea reacted angrily and jumped to the support of Terry. He’s won four Premier League titles with Chelsea, a UEFA Champions League trophy, five FA Cup and three League Cups.
He is the most successful player in club history and despite his off-the-field issues, he is one of the greatest defenders England has ever produced.
Speaking to Soccer AM on Sky Sports in the UK, Terry revealed that he still believes he has a few years left in the tank and that he hopes it’s with Chelsea.
“I’ve got a couple of years left. Definitely I intend to keep playing, hopefully that’s at Chelsea, but if not it will be somewhere else,” Terry said. “I am definitely feeling good physically and I intend to play as long as I can. As a professional footballer you’re a long time retired, so I think not only for myself but for all of us we should get the most out of it and enjoy it while it’s there.”
With talk of a move to China, MLS or elsewhere in Europe, it seems like Terry still has his heart set on remaining on Chelsea.
The fact that he’s toned down his rhetoric in this interview suggests perhaps some headway has been made behind-the-scenes as Antonio Conte will arrive as Chelsea’s new manager in July following the 2016 European Championships where he coaches Italy.
Should Conte push for Terry to get a new one-year deal at Stamford Bridge?
Right now, Terry is still the best central defender Chelsea has. Despite his age and many believing it may be good for both parties to move on and for Conte to not have to worry about Terry’s huge influence in the dressing room, surely the Blues can’t just let a top-class center back walk free this summer?
Luke Shaw has been out-of-action for a half-year, dating back to a horrible injury in Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League defeat at PSV Eindhoven in September.
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Shaw, 20, is hoping that spell on the club sidelines will end before the end of this Premier League season, as the $45 million buy from Southampton continues to progress toward match fitness.
“I am back outside now, still with the physio but, day by day, I am getting better and fitter. I am just going to keep pushing now until the end of the season and see what happens. At the moment, my leg feels really great every time I go outside. There was a bit of aching at the start but now they are all gone. It is just back to hard work now and hopefully I will see the fans before the end of the season.”
It’s a good goal for the youngster, but there’s obviously zero need to rush things. With the FA Cup surely a tempting proposition as well, Shaw will also need to be reintroduced to playing in matches. Would Louis Van Gaal want to risk that during some pivotal encounters in the race for a Top Four place?
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) The New York Red Bulls have acquired veteran center back Aurelien Collin from Orlando City SC in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
The Red Bulls announced the deal for the 30-year-old Collin on Friday.
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Collin, who is from France, was acquired by Orlando City ahead of its inaugural MLS campaign last season. Before that, he spent four years with Sporting Kansas City, where he won the 2013 MLS Cup and was named the MVP of the game.
Collin was named MLS Best XI in 2012 and earned three consecutive MLS All-Star appearances from 2012-2014. He has played professionally in France, Greece, England, Scotland and Portugal.
Tim Howard is back in goal for Everton.
[ WATCH: Stream PL games via Live Extra ]
The U.S. national team legend, 37, returns for the Toffees and is named captain by under-fire manager Roberto Martinez.
Howard hasn’t played in a Premier League game for Everton since January 24 when the Toffees lost 2-1 against Swansea at Goodison.
Since then he has struggled with a calf injury and has been replaced by Spanish goalkeeper Joel Robles as Everton’s starting goalkeeper. In the past few months Everton’s manager Martinez has come under increasing pressure from the fans as they’ve continued to coast along in midtable and were beaten in the FA Cup semifinal by Manchester United last weekend.
[ MORE: How will USMNT line up this summer? ]
The New Jersey native has signed a deal with Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids — a contract which makes him the best-paid goalkeeper in MLS history — who he will join on July 1 as he return to the U.S. to finish out his career.
After spending 13 years in England with Manchester United and Everton, it seems like Howard will get a final chance to say farewell to Everton’s fans in the last three weeks of the season.
Despite criticism from sections of Everton’s supporters this season, Howard has been a fans favorite for most of his decade on Merseyside.
Below is the starting lineup for Everton as they face Bournemouth on Saturday at Goodison (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on Premier League Extratime and online via Live Extra).