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Diego Fagundez called into Uruguay U-20 camp

One of the best young players to come out of the U.S. academy system may play for Uruguay.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Fagundez has been called into Uruguay's U-20 team for training camp and a pair of friendlies, putting his future with the United States in doubt. Fagundez was born in Uruguay and played in an U-20 camp in 2012 and while he has said he would be interested in playing for the U.S., he is not a citizen and likely will not be until 2018.

Making matters worse for the U.S. is that not only did Fagundez accept the invitation, but Uruguay is hosting the South American Youth Championships next year, a prestigious tournament and one that could lure Fagundez to suit up for the country of his birth.

Fagundez moved to the U.S. as a child and received his green card last year. He spent most of his childhood in the States and came through the American youth system, from the New England Revolution academy and into the senior team. If he were a citizen, and thus eligible to play for the U.S., most believe he would not only pick his adopted country, but he would have been capped already. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Even with Fagundez going to play with the Uruguay U-20's, it does not rule him out from playing for the U.S. one day. Playing in a training camp and friendlies will not tie him to the country, but if he plays in official matches it will, and this could be the starting point for him with Uruguay, which will see him play in official matches before long.

Right now, the U.S. can't do much. Jurgen Klinsmann can tell Fagundez that they like him a lot and want him to be a part of the team, but unless he marries a U.S. citizen, he is not going to be eligible for the U.S. until after the 2018 World Cup. That's a long wait and Klinsmann likely won't even be the manager by then. If Uruguay is offering him the chance to play in a major youth tournament and, eventually, into the senior team, the U.S may have lost one of their best products for good.