New England Soccer Today

Nguyen Reaches 50-Goal Mark

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – At some point down the road, Lee Nguyen will look back at reaching the half-century scoring mark and wonder just how in the world he was able to do it. But he admitted he couldn’t fully grasp the accomplishment following Saturday’s win.

Nguyen came off the bench to score his 50th MLS goal in the 82nd minute to give the Revolution a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over Toronto. For the 30-year-old midfielder, who’s the second-leading scorer in club history, it was an accomplishment brimming with meaning.

“It’s not easy to get 50 goals, let alone 50 goals with one club,” Nguyen said. “It’s a big honor and I’m going to reflect on it after the season.”

Five years ago, few would’ve predicted Nguyen, a preseason waiver wire acquisition, would go on to collect 50 goals in a Revolution uniform.

After the Vancouver Whitecaps cut him right before the start of the 2012 season, the playmaking midfielder quickly established himself as a force on a Revolution squad that was searching for an identity during the early stages of the Jay Heaps regime. Nguyen scored five goals that season, and went on to become one of the club’s best players as his career progressed.

In 2014, he set a new standard when he scored 18 goals, the most by pure midfielder in league history. But even though he hasn’t approached that benchmark in subsequent seasons, he remains one of the club’s most valuable assets.

“He’s a fantastic player, there’s no two ways about it,” Revolution defender Chris Tierney said. “I think if Lee were playing in a bigger market in this league, I think he’d be up there in All-Star and MVP voting. He’s that important and quality of a player.”

Tierney should know. As one of the few holdovers from that 2012 team, the veteran left back has had a front row seat to Nguyen’s impressive career in New England.

“To see him continue to play so well is great for us,” Tierney said.

Indeed, even with the eighth-place squad likely to miss the postseason for the second straight year, and another rebuild on the horizon, Nguyen has remained a constant. His reliability has set him apart from the crowd, and his ability to change a game has made him one of the most clutch players in club history.

Earlier this week, Heaps, who was instrumental in bringing Nguyen to Foxboro, was fired. Some wondered who’d rise to the occasion with the squad in turmoil.

On Saturday, Nguyen, who entered the match with eight goals and 14 assists, provided yet another reminder of how important he remains to the team that essentially took a flier on him five years ago.

“I feel like it’s going to be something to look back on and be like, ‘Wow,’” Nguyen said of the 50-goal mark. “It’s one where you got to take it (for what it is), and then move on because we have a quick turnaround on Wednesday (at Orlando City).”

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