Miguel Aguilar’s rise to MLS stardom has been nothing short of meteoric. Coming from humble beginnings, Aguilar was a standout with the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold before being drafted by D.C. United. He has been a very welcome addition to United’s attack and has been a gamechanger in his rookie season.

Aguilar appeared in every preseason game for the Black-and-Red as an outside midfielder and recorded his first professional goal on Feb. 13, in a 2-0 victory over the Austin Aztex. This was just the beginning of a whirlwind season for the Cuidad Juarez, Mexico native. He would go on to play in seventeen league matches, including four starts.

He would be the hero of the CONCACAF Champions League, netting the game-winner against Arabe Unido on August 19th on the road in Panama. The win pushed United to the top of their group and extended their Champions League scoring streak to 16 games. According to Aguilar, it came at just the right time.

“It was special because it was late in the game, in which I hadn’t had a performance I was pleased with, but scoring the goal helped me get past that and it turned out to be the game-winner.”

The always humble Aguilar has taken his newfound stardom in stride and it’s clear he’s been enjoying the journey of a professional footballer.

“I would say I’ve had a great experience. I’ve learned a lot during the course of the season and it’s been a lot of fun.”

The NPSL was a big part of Aguilar’s development, something he is very grateful for and he was clearly fond of his time with the Gold.

“It helped me by allowing me to continue to play at a high level and to stay sharp. I enjoyed the traveling and of course playing with a good group of players and with a great coach.”

While remembering the past is so important, this NPSL alum is ever so focused on playing his best for a team steeped in so much history and tradition.

“My goals are to become a regular starter and to keep contributing to the success of the team. It’s great, there’s a lot of tradition in this club and I myself do everything I can to represent myself and the club with respect and also exemplify what the club looks for in their players.”

Aguilar is the league’s closest version of Angel Di Maria, a creative attacking player with loads of grit and determination. He actually mimics the PSG and Argentina national team star in his play and hopefully he can also mimic just a bit of Di Maria’s success.

With just one game remaining, D.C. United has clinched a playoff spot and is currently in second place in the Eastern Conference. A lot is still expected of Aguilar thanks to a very eventful rookie season. He’s looking forward to the postseason, which is yet another opportunity to make a big impact. That is something he has done every day of his career and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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