New England Soccer Today

Nguyen ‘Excited’ to Join Revs

In less than three months, former U.S. National Team youth star Lee Nguyen went from prized acquisition to roster casualty.

After signing with MLS in December and going to Vancouver – via lottery – many expected the 25-year-old midfielder to strengthen a squad that finished at the bottom of the table in 2011. At least, that’s the way it looked on paper.

But after the Whitecaps waived him on Thursday, Nguyen flew back to Vancouver on Friday following the team’s preseason tourney in Orlando hoping that he’d get another chance elswhere with MLS Waiver Draft of the horizon.

“I really didn’t know who was going to pick me up,” Nguyen said. “I know that Jay (Heaps) talked to my agent a little bit and said that they were interested in looking to pick me up in the Waiver Draft, and if they had they chance, they would.”

And they did. With the first crack at Nguyen in the Waiver Draft, the Revolution grabbed the talented attacking midfielder/withdrawn forward less than 24 hours after the Whitecaps waived him.

“I was on the plane from Orlando to Vancouver (Friday) and I didn’t hear (about the Revolution’s interest) until I landed,” Nguyen said. “I had to check my voicemail and that’s when I heard.”

And when he did, the midfielder/foreward was more than ready to join his new club.

“I’m excited to join this club,” Nguyen said. “And help them have a better season than last season.”

Nguyen, who’s remarkable vision, dribbling abilities and goalscoring touch earned him a shot with storied Dutch club PSV Eindhoven after his freshman year at Indiana, should help bolster a squad that hovered near the bottom in the goals scored department (38) in 2011.

With Nguyen on board, the Revolution enrichen a midfield already brimming with talent. In the center, perennial MLS All-Star Shalrie Joseph anchors a unit that currently boasts U.S. National Teamer Benny Feilhaber and budding rookie Kelyn Rowe.

In fact, Nguyen mentioned on Friday that he’s already looking forward to reuniting with one of his new teammates.

“I played with (Benny) on the U20 and National Team,” Nguyen said. “It’s great. Benny’s a great player and I definitely look forward to playing with him. I feel Benny’s got a good thing going, he’s got a great vision and he knows the game very well and we’ll be able to click, so I’m excited about that.”

Meanwhile, Nguyen is also hoping to prove that the promise he showed at the youth levels and his freshman season at Indiana will translate into success in MLS after stints in Vietnam and Holland.

“I think I’ve matured a lot since leaving college,” Nguyen said. “It’s just about having a lot more experience, and playing under a lot of different coaches and formations and being able to see a lot of different styles of play all over the world. I think in that regard I’ve gained a lot of experience and I’m looking forward to coming back and playing in MLS now. This is a new style and a new type of play, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

There’s no doubt that Nguyen will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season. And who knows? That might be precisely what the Revolution had in mind when they claimed him on Friday.


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