New England Soccer Today

Nguyen Gets 1st USMNT Start, Aids Comeback

Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen earned his first national team start to help the United States stake a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Iceland on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Nguyen, who went the full 90 while stationed on the left during his eighth career cap, was part of a U.S. effort that outshot Iceland 16-6, the last of which Steve Birnbaum put into the back of the net in the 90th minute.

Former Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones, who spoke last week about his dissatisfaction with the offer presented by the brass of the Foxboro-based outfit, went 71 minutes before he was replaced by Tony Tchani.

The dramatic ending made up for a dull start for the U.S., who conceded the first goal when Iceland forward Eidur Gudjohnsen fired a shot that deflected off Michael Orozco and fell into the back of the net in the 16th minute.

After dusting themselves off and returning to their feet, the hosts regrouped four minutes later when Jozy Altidore latched onto a pass from Michael Bradley and buried it to make it one-all at the break.

Iceland was strong out of the gate again in the second stanza thanks to a sensational effort from Aron Sigurdarson, who went down the right and blasted a shot out of the reach of Luis Robles to put the guests back on top in the 48th minute.

The U.S. may have been down, but they were far from out of it. Just before the stroke of an hour, Altidore curled a cross toward the far post for Birnbaum, who nodded it across goal to allow Orozco to head it through in the 59th minute.

Any notion that the U.S. was content to settle for a draw in their 2016 debut was rebutted in emphatic fashion when Birnbaum pounded a free kick from Bradley into the back of the net to give the hosts the dramatic win.

The U.S. will play the second of its winter camp friendlies on Friday when they meet Canada at the StubHub Center. Kickoff is set for 10:45pm ET.

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