New England Soccer Today

Nguyen Returns for USMNT

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Lee Nguyen made his first appearance for U.S. in over seven years, but his efforts weren’t enough as Colombia prevailed 2-1 in Friday’s international friendly at Craven Cottage on Friday.

Nguyen, who sported the 8 shirt, came off the bench on the 78th minute to replace Mix Diskerud, and showed himself a dangerous presence during his 12-minute cameo.

He was the primary catalyst on an 81st buildup that put Bobby Wood through before Camilo Vargas came off his line to deny the bid. He launched two free kicks, as well, the latter of which gave the U.S. their last chance at equalizing in stoppage time.

Incidentally, Nguyen’s last cap prior to Friday’s friendly came against Colombia in a Copa America contest on Jul. 5, 2007.

Meanwhile, Revolution teammate Jermaine Jones was among those who aided Nguyen’s efforts in the latter stages. Jones, who went the full 90, has been a key component in the Revolution’s recent push for an MLS Cup, was paired with John Brooks in the back four, as US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann continues to experiment with him on defense.

Despite giving up two goals to an extremely talented Colombian offense, the American made several key plays in the back, and also made an impact offensively. It was his headball off an Alejandro Bedoya corner kick that struck Pablo Armero’s arm, resulting in a Jozy Altidore penalty kick that gave the United States the 1-0 lead.

But, Colombia did not go down quietly, scoring two goals in the 60th and 87th minutes. First, it was Carlos Bacca who struck for the Jose Pekerman’s team, finding a loose ball and scampering around US goalie Brad Guzan to put one in the back of the net. When it looked like the two teams were heading towards a draw, Teo Gutierrez leaped over Julian Green, heading one past Guzan to give the Colombians the lead with only a few minutes to play.

Friday’s friendly was the first one under Klinsmann in which the American’s lost after scoring the opening goal.

Nguyen’s four U.S. Men’s National Team caps:

Date Opponent Replaced Total Minutes
Jun. 2, 2007 China DaMarcus Beasley (80′) 10
Jul. 2, 2007 Paraguay Sacha Kljestan (80′) 10
Jul. 5, 2007 Colombia Eddie Johnson (72′) 18
Nov. 14, 2014 Colombia Mix Diskerud (78′) 12


What’s Next Jones, Nguyen: The Revolution duo is expected to return to Foxborough before the U.S. wraps up its 2014 fixture list on Tuesday in Dublin vs. Ireland. With the Eastern Conference Final on tap for next weekend, the return of Jones and Nguyen will be a welcome sight for coach Jay Heaps.

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