New England Soccer Today

Davies: Resurgence of Nguyen & Revs Not a Coincidence

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – One man may not make a team, but the way Revolution striker Charlie Davies tells it, there is at least one player on the squad who’s individual success sets the tone for the rest.

After struggling to channel the form that made him an MVP finalist last year, Lee Nguyen has scored three goals and collected two assists in his last four games. The Revolution’s record over the course of span: 3-0-1.

“(He’s) helping us defensively, creating turnovers and then being able to get all the way up top and create goals, and score goals,” Davies said. “That makes us so much more dynamic, and when he’s playing at his best, we’re playing at our best.”

According to Davies, the creative midfielder’s resurgence is no accident. Earlier this season, Nguyen publicly protested the terms of his contract, and was left off the XI in a May 2 clash against the Red Bulls after sitting out training leading up to the rematch of last year’s Conference Championship.

With the contract squabbles in the rearview mirror, Nguyen has started to look like the same player who bagged a league-best 18 goals for a pure midfielder in 2014.

“He obviously had some difficult times during the season, personal issues and contract issues,” Davies said. “But I think he’s finally put that behind him and is focused on playing.”

But even though the midfielder’s offensive numbers have started to climb, it’s what Nguyen has done when he doesn’t have the ball that made him truly dangerous.

“He’s one of the most talented midfielders in the league,” Davies said. “When he’s fit and playing at his best, and playing both sides of the ball, which not many no. 10’s can do as well as he does.”

Davies believes that if Nguyen can continue to showcase the same form down the stretch, the Revolution will be in a good position to make another strong playoff push down the stretch.

“It’s good to have him starting to put everything together,” Davies said. “I think you can see that over the past 4-5 games, so when he’s playing at his best, he’s really helping us.”


Revolution coach Jay Heaps often likes to say that he tries not to worry about what he can’t control. In that vein, he wasn’t complaining about the timing of the team’s second bye week over the last three weeks.

“It’s not different than other bye weeks,” Heaps said earlier this week. “The same thought process goes into it: it’s all about pushing certain guys and giving certain guys a little bit of time.”

While Heaps didn’t dwell on the downside of the scheduling quirk, Davies expressed concern about what another break could do to the team’s recent momentum.

“I feel like it comes at an unfortunate time,” Davies said. “I think that the one bye is good (because) you don’t want to lose fitness and you don’t want to get out of a rhythm.”


While last weekend’s win over the Dynamo was worth just as many points as any of the other eight wins the Revolution have earned this year, Davies said that lengthy lightning delays between the first and final whistles truly tested the Revolution’s resolve.

“It was an extremely tough game to be mentally prepared and focused throughout the 90 minutes – which happened to take over three-and-a-half hours or so,” Davies said. “A game like that in which we can come out with three points shows how strong we are mentally.”

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