One of the top attacking midfielders in MLS, Lee Nguyen has become a face of the Revolution and a focal point of the club’s attack since arriving in 2012. In 2014, he enjoyed one of the best seasons in club history, scoring 20 times in all competitions while setting up another nine and helping the Revs win the Eastern Conference Championship and get back to MLS Cup for the first time since 2007. A finalist for the MLS MVP award that year, Nguyen ranks in the top 10 in Revolution history in goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, games started, minutes played and a number of other categories while playing at least 30 games in every season that he has been with the club. Those performances have also caught the eye of the U.S. National Team coaching staff as he returned to the national team setup in 2014 after a seven-year absence.
2015: Appeared in 32 games, starting 31 times, scoring seven goals, placing him tied for second on the team in that category, and adding a team and career-best 10 assists. Nguyen’s 10 assists placed him in a tie for seventh in the league, while the Revs were 10-3-2 when he got on the scoresheet. He also led the team in shots (82), shots on goal (30) and fouls suffered (80). He made his season debut against NYCFC on March15 after missing the season opener at Seattle while recovering from a groin injury. Nguyen scored his first goal of the season in early April, converting a second-half penalty kick in a 2-0 road win over the Colorado Rapids. He made his 100th regular-season appearance for the club on April 4 against Columbus and then made his 100th start six weeks later against Toronto FC on May 16. He was shown the first red card of his MLS career on May 23 against D.C. United, causing him to miss the 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy while serving his suspension. Nguyen scored his second goal of the season just 31 seconds into the 2-1 loss at Columbus on June 24, which was the fastest goal the Revs scored in 2015 and the fifth fastest in club history. After recording an assist in the 4-1 loss to the Red Bulls on July 11, Nguyen added his third goal of the season on July 18, scoring the game-winner at home against NYCFC, before adding another goal away at Chicago the following weekend. Nguyen scored from the spot in the next game against Toronto FC before getting in the scoresheet for the fifth straight game when he recorded an assist late against Houston on August 15. His five-game streak of tallying a goal or an assist was tied for the second longest in MLS. Nguyen was back on the scoresheet when he became the first Revolution player to record three assists in a game, setting up each goal in the 3-0 win over Orlando City on Sept. 5. Those assists brought his season total up to eight, which set a new career-high, while he was named to MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week for Week 27 after that performance. His first assist in that game was the 20th of his Revolution career, becoming just the sixth player in club history with 20 goals and 20 assists. Nguyen tallied assists in his next two games against Toronto FC and New York to bring his season total up to 10. He converted his third penalty of the season in late September against Philadelphia, giving him a goal and five assists for the month, which earned Nguyen a nomination for the MLS Player of the Month award. He found the net for the seventh time in 2015, scoring just two minutes into the season finale at NYC FC. Nguyen started in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round, playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 defeat to D.C. United.
2014: Voted the Santander Revolution MVP and a finalist for the MLS MVP award, Lee Nguyen enjoyed his best season in a Revolution uniform, scoring a career-high 18 goals to go along with five assists in 32 games. He missed the season opener at Houston on March 8 because of a groin injury but would miss just one additional game the rest of the season. He opened his goal account on March 29, scoring the game-winner – the first of his club record nine – at San Jose to give the Revs their first win of the season. Nguyen scored four goals and had an assist in a five game stretch between April 19 and May 17, helping the Revs go 4-0-1. After serving a one-game suspension following a Disciplinary Committee decision for an off-the-ball incident against Real Salt Lake on July 4, Nguyen returned to the lineup on the road against the LA Galaxy on July 16, converting a first-half penalty. That would be the only goal or assist that he had all season in a game that the Revs would lose. On July 30, Nguyen had two goals and an assist as the Revs beat Colorado 3-0 to snap a club-record eight-game losing streak. Including that game, Nguyen had 12 goals and four assists in the final 14 games of the season as the Revs went 10-2-2 to clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with Nguyen registering the game-winning goal or assist in eight of the 10 wins. He scored twice in a 3-1 home win over Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 3 and then added two more at Houston on Oct. 16 as the Revs came from behind to win 2-1. An MLS All-Star, though he was not named to the gameday roster, Nguyen scored in each of the final four games of the season and was named the Etihad Airways Player of the Month award for October. His goal against Columbus on Oct. 4 was his 14th of the season, setting a new club record for goals by a midfielder while his 18 goals on the season were the most in MLS history for a player that played predominantly in midfield and the most by an American that season. He continued his fine form in the playoffs, tallying two goals and adding three assists while starting all five games that New England played. He had a goal in each leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series against Columbus, tallying the game-winning goal on the road in the first leg and then tallying a goal and an assist in the second leg. Against New York in the Eastern Conference Championship, Nguyen helped to set up Jermaine Jones’ game-winning goal in the first leg at Red Bull Arena and then Charlie Davies’ first goal in the second leg at Gillette Stadium a week later. In the U.S. Open Cup, Nguyen started all three of the Revs’ matches, recording an assist in the Fifth Round win over Rochester.
2013: Tallied four goals and seven assists in 33 league games, helping lead the Revs back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009. Two of his four goals came from the penalty spot, converting in a late-season win over D.C. United on Sept. 21 and in second-half stoppage time of a 2-2 draw at New York on Oct. 5. He also tallied goals in home wins over Philadelphia on April 27 and the LA Galaxy on June 2. Nguyen’s seven assists were a then-career-high, with two coming in a 2-0 home win over San Jose on July 6 for the first multi-assist game of his career. He added two more assists two weeks later, coming off the bench and setting up a pair of stoppage time goals in a 2-0 win at Columbus. Four of Nguyen’s seven assists set up game-winning goals, leaving him tied for the sixth-most in MLS. He was shown his fifth yellow card of the season against Montreal on Oct. 12, forcing him to miss his only game of the year a week later against Columbus. However, in the season finale against the Crew on Oct. 27, Nguyen assisted on Juan Agudelo’s game-winning goal as the Revs clinched a postseason berth. In the MLS Cup Playoffs, Nguyen played all 210 minutes of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series against Sporting Kansas City, assisting on Kelyn Rowe’s game-winning goal in the first leg of that series. That game was his postseason debut. Nguyen also made one appearance in the U.S. Open Cup, coming on as a second-half substitute in the Quarterfinal defeat to D.C. United.
2012: Voted the 2012 Revolution MVP by the fans after scoring five goals and adding two assists in his first season with the club after being claimed off waivers from Vancouver on March 2. Made his Revolution – and MLS – debut in the season opener at San Jose on March 10, coming on as a second-half substitute. A week later, he made his first start for the club, playing 90 minutes at Sporting Kansas City. On April 14, Nguyen registered his first assist in MLS, setting up a Jose Moreno goal against D.C. United. He scored the first two goals of his MLS career a month later on May 12 in a 4-1 win over Vancouver, the second of which was a finalist for the MLS AT&T Goal of the Year. Nguyen also set up a goal in that game and was named the MLS Player of the Week. He would go on to add goals in a home win over New York on July 8, tallying the game-winner in the first half and in a road loss to Montreal 10 days later. His final goal of the season came on Aug. 25 at Columbus and he underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery a month later, ruling him out of the final four games of the season. In the U.S. Open Cup, Nguyen played all 120 minutes of the Third Round loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders, tallying a goal and an assist in the first half of extra time before converting his penalty in the shootout.
CLUB CAREER OUTSIDE MLS
Nguyen began his professional career with Dutch power PSV Eindhoven, signing with the club in January 2006 after one season at Indiana. He made his debut for PSV a month later, coming on in a 1-0 road win at Heracles Almelo on Feb. 11, 2006. Nguyen made one more first team appearance for PSV ahead of the 2006-07 Eredivisie season but spent most of his time with the club’s reserves before moving to Randers FC of the Danish Superliga in January 2008. He debuted for the club on March 20, 2008 against Aarhus GF and played in 23 games in all competitions with the club, scoring his only goal for the club in a Danish Cup game against AC Horsens on October 29, 2008. In January 2009, Nguyen signed with Hoang Anh Gia of the Vientamese Super League, scoring 13 goals and adding 16 assists in 24 appearances in all competitions that year. The following year, Nguyen signed with fellow Vietnamese side Becamex Binh Duong FC, spending a year and a half at the Thu Dau Mot-based club before leaving the club in June 2011.
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
Nguyen has been capped seven times by the U.S. National Team, making his international debut on June 2, 2007 in a friendly against China. He went on to make two appearances at that summer’s Copa America in Venezuela, coming off the bench against Paraguay and Colombia. He returned to the U.S. squad seven years later, coming off the bench in the second half of a friendly against Colombia in London on Nov. 14, 2014. He was recalled for the annual January camp in 2015, playing in friendlies against Chile and Panama before collecting his seventh cap at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 13 in a friendly against Costa Rica. Nguyen, who was a member of the U.S. team that reached the Round of 16 at the 2005 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Netherlands, has also played for the U.S. Under-18 and Under-23 national teams.
Nguyen spent one season at Indiana, tallying five goals and a team-best 12 assists in 22 games with the Hoosiers during the 2005 season. Selected as the National Freshman of the Year by Soccer America, Nguyen was also named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Nguyen helped Indiana advance to the Big Ten Tournament Final and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.