New England Soccer Today

Nguyen Returns in Historic Fashion

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Not long after matching an MLS-record by collecting four assists in Saturday’s win over Orlando City, Lee Nguyen seemed more comfortable talking about his teammates than personal accolades.

Despite missing the previous two games due to hamstring injury, the Revolution midfielder’s return was one to remember on a night in which the 10th-place team looked more like a contender than pretender.

“It was a good day for the boys in blue, huh?” Nguyen said with a smile. “Honestly, it was a team effort. Anytime we keep a clean sheet, it’s going to give us a chance, so credit to all the guys that put in the shift and got the clean sheet, and then the offensive guys did their part and then Kei [Kamara] got his hatty.”

While Kamara’s performance was outstanding by any measure, Nguyen’s evening was just as sublime, even if he wasn’t keen to talk about it.

The Revolution midfielder used his vision to pick out teammates both familiar and not-so-familiar. In the 26th minute, he found fellow veteran Scott Caldwell, who set up Kamara’s first goal. Near the final whistle, he fed it to the newly-acquired Krisztian Nemeth on the build up to Teal Bunbury’s goal.

In between, he was the primary architect on Kamara’s second and third goals, and put a deft finish on a strike of his own that was subsequently nullified by VAR due to a missed offside call on Bunbury in the 43rd minute.

Suffice to say, Nguyen picked up right where he left off before his injury.

“He’s a key piece for us, all the time,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “It’s unfortunate when a player gets injured and you want players to step up, but obviously Lee’s a quality piece for us every time he steps on the field for us. Tonight, he gets four assists.”

Now, Heaps may not have forecast such a momentous performance from his midfielder. But he acknowledged that in the days leading up to the contest, he got a sense that Nguyen was due for a strong showing.

“I could tell this weekend,” Heaps said, “the way he trained this week, that he was going to have a big night.”

Nguyen, who was relegated to bystander during losses at New York City and DC, was no doubt eager to get back on the pitch. And he proved it by scribbling his name in the MLS record book.

“It’s tough because you always want to be out there to help your teammates,” Nguyen said about missing time. “This is a crucial point in our season, and we need maximum points in every game going forward now.”

In the meantime, Nguyen seems content to stay on the humble grind, allowing his work on the field to do the talking.

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