FOXBORO -- The New England Revolution began their season in early March. Now into late May, their offense is catching up for lost time.
The team struggled early on with last season's leading scorer Saer Sene sidelined by an ACL injury. They recorded just two goals in their first six games, including a four-game scoreless stretch, and it was unclear who would provide an offensive spark.
The Revolution have found two weapons.
Over the past three games 18-year-old Diego Fagundez and 20-year-old Juan Agudelo have scored all of the Revs five goals, a stretch in which the team has recorded two wins and a draw. They topped Toronto FC, 2-0, Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Fagundez has put together a three-game scoring streak dating back to May 11. Agudelo has scored in back-to-back games.
"The way we’re playing right now, it’s very fluid in the offense but we’re pushing where Diego is," said head coach Jay Heaps. "It’s a little bit wider and he has a little bit more freedom, and so he’s getting good matchups. I think that he’s an intuitive player as well, just like Juan, where they can sense weaknesses in an opponent. We show them film and they read that, but once the game starts they sense where they’re going to take over what areas. I think Diego is becoming a complete player. You see him forward and back doing both things, and the better he is defensively the more he does offensively."
While Heaps has seen Fagundez's game progress over the entire season, he is just getting his first glimpses of Agudelo in a Revolution uniform this month. Agudelo joined the team in early May and is already clicking.
"First and foremost, he does everything out there," said Heaps. "You watch him, he does everything for the team. He does all the little things, the hard work, gets his toes in, he’s defending on the top of the box. So right away he jumps up in that the players buy into what he’s doing. His ability around the box, he just shows he’s really crafty he’s really got good body control. The two goals he’s scored have been, to me, pretty incredible goals. He’s kind of leaning, just getting his body there, and just getting enough on it. And those are what goal scorers do -- they find a way -- and he’s doing that."
Agudelo and Fagundez are finding it easy to have chemistry on the field. The lockermates have developed a quick relationship and it is carrying over into the game.
"I think it all starts because (both Juan and I) speak Spanish," said Fagundez. "The other thing is when we work together we try to communicate with each other, so I think that’s why we are going positive now. We just have to keep talking and communicating and then move forward."
Echoed Agudelo, "It’s awesome (to play with Diego in a free style of play). I feel like that’s me and Diego’s style of play. Since I’ve been here, he’s been right next to my locker. We get along. We have a great partnership so far, and I’m excited to keep working with him."
While Agudelo and Fagundez receive credit for getting the Revolution on the scoreboard during this three-game stretch, they give praise to their teammates for assisting on the plays. Chris Tierney has recorded two assists in the previous three games -- "Chris just gives a perfect ball right to the foot," said Fagundez -- and both Saer Sene and Clyde Simms have assisted on goals as well.
Moving forward, the Revolution are confident they have enough depth for any player to pose a threat.
"The game will dictate who steps up," said Heaps. "And for me, we've just got to keep playing the way we’re playing, which is aggressive to start, aggressive to where we’re winning the ball, where we’re getting opportunities."