September was one of the worst months for the New England Revolution since the season began. In four games, they finished the month 1-2-1, conceding nine goals while scoring eight. Part of it was luck; a fifth-minute red card made it exceedingly difficult on the Revs early in the month against Montreal, and awful work from the assistant referees against Chicago turned what should have been a 3-2 victory into a 2-3 loss.
Regardless, September was a month where the Revs found themselves in a position to secure an iron grip on a playoff spot in the East, and they failed. Their playoff hopes are down to the last game of the season, and looking back, September is the month where they dug that hole. That said, it was not a month bereft of good performances. Driving the Revolution forward from the middle, ranging all over the pitch to get the ball, and showing an unexpected bite to his game, midfielder Lee Nguyen was an outstanding performer.
As the season has worn on, Nguyen has morphed from the slashing, finesse-oriented creator of 2012 into a ranging, box-to-box true midfielder. Absent a true physical presence in the middle, the Revs needed someone willing to mix it up to fill the gap, and Nguyen has done that admirably. He doubles up as the Revs most-fouled and most-fouling player this year, and aside from scoring a crucial penalty against D.C., he pulled all the strings in the draw against Houston. In that match, he had just one assist, but had his teammates been a little better he might have had three. For that reason, Lee Nguyen is our September player of the month.
Nick: Nguyen seemed to better harness his box-to-box tendencies in September, proving tough over the ball and gritty when needed most. His performance against D.C. United saved from the Revs from postseason purgatory.
Abram: It's interesting how Nguyen is being used slightly differently this season. Last year he took more shots, this year he is much more of a creator. His goal total through September is still almost equal to last years, while his assist total is up. Despite fairly similar stats, I'd argue that he may be having a much better season this year than last in his slightly altered role.
Corey: Where Kelyn Rowe dropped off in form a bit, Lee Nguyen picked up the slack and truly emerged as the midfield general that we've needed him to be all season. He was tough when he needed to be and smart when he needed to be, too. Nguyen showcased his intelligence and vision last month, helping the Revs come close against Chicago and Houston while, of course, netting the game-winning PK vs. D.C. United.
Lee's Line: 4 appearances, 4 starts, 1 goal, 1 assist, 338 minutes, 10 points in TBM Player of the Month Voting
Matt Reis, 9 points: It ALL starts at the back. When this team looked set to swoon down the stretch like they have in recent years, a calming, veteran presence stepped up, and provided the needed steady hand. Reis has made several vital stops, most in close-range, rapid-fire situations, and he's lead this Revolution back line down their most important stretch in years. - Matty
Saer Sene, 8 points: The one guy who kept appearing on the score sheet, either through scoring or with his passing setting up his teammates. Sene had adjusted really well to his left wing spot and his big September is one of the many reasons why the Revs are in the thick of the playoff race now. Shame he's going to have to watch it from the sidelines, again. - Jake
The Player of the Month is compiled by members of The Bent Musket's staff. Each writer selects his top three Revolution players for the month, who are assigned point values - three points for the #1, two for the #2, and one for the #3. Then, points are totaled and the player who received the most points in the voting is named Player of the Month. Honorable mentions go to the next two players in the voting.