NEW YORK – There’s no question that Sunday night’s 2-1 road triumph over New York City FC was an all-around team effort from the New England Revolution, but it was an especially big night for one Revolution veteran.
New England midfielder Lee Nguyen, who played for the team from 2012-2018 and was reacquired a little more than one month ago, completed personal unfinished Revs business against NYCFC.
Nguyen was traded to Los Angeles FC in 2018 on the brink of a monumental milestone, with 51 goals and 49 assists, only one assist away from being the first-ever Revolution player to register both 50 goals and 50 assists with the club.
Three minutes into the NYCFC match, Nguyen’s clever one-touch pass to set up Teal Bunbury's left-footed goal changed that narrative, making Nguyen the first-ever New England player to achieve the 50/50 milestone.
“It’s a great honor,” said Nguyen. “To be able to do that for one club, that means a lot to me.
“It’s also a credit to the guys I’ve been playing with because without them there’s no way I’d be able to do it. This is a great moment for me personally. I feel proud to be able to do 50-50 all in a Revs shirt.”
“Lee is great,” said Bunbury, who joined Nguyen and the Revs in 2014. “He’s a talented player. We’ve had some great times together, also some bad times, but playing with him is easy. I think we’ve got a connection. I’m just really happy that we were able to get three points tonight.”
The connection is mutual with Nguyen.
“Coming back here was definitely a familiar feeling because of the guys I’ve played with before,” said Nguyen. “It was great to be able to get that chemistry right off the bat.
“The goal with Teal, that’s a play we’ve been able to combine with quite a bit in our time. I know Teal likes it in behind and once you play that, I just knew to play it into space for him to run onto and he did the rest to be able to put in a great finish at the end there.”
Nguyen’s contributions on the night didn’t stop there. The 34-year-old shined in a pivotal moment that locked up New England’s 2-1 win by calmly converting an 80th-minute penalty kick.
“Obviously the second goal was critically important,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “I’m disappointed we conceded late, but I’m certainly happy for three points on the road.”
“I didn’t really realize [I hit 50/50] until honestly after the PK,” Nguyen said with a laugh. “I was just happy because we knew this was going to be a tough place to come in and play. We were able to get the first goal early on and I knew how hard the next 30 minutes were going to be. That goal and that cushion were so huge.”
Nguyen currently has 52 goals and 50 assists tied to his name in a Revolution jersey. With six regular season games left, Nguyen will look to continue to make history for the club in Foxborough, which he has always considered to be home.