On Saturday night, Lee Nguyen did what he’s done all season: score an important goal.
His most recent tally came in the 20th minute of the New England Revolution’s match against the Columbus Crew. Jermaine Jones initiated the attack when he found Teal Bunbury on the right flank. Bunbury took a few touches before putting in cross that eventually landed on Nguyen’s foot. The midfielder knew just what to do as he beat Steve Clark for his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Head coach Jay Heaps expressed his confidence in Nguyen during CSNNE’s post-game show.
"I’ll take Lee Nguyen in that spot any day of the week," Heaps said. "He’s class and he’s showing it. I think that’s his 14 goals. He’s getting big goals for us. They’re not throwaway goals. They’re huge."
In the last 11 games, the Revs have gone 8-2-1 to capture second place in the Eastern Conference standings. Nguyen has been instrumental in his team’s success as he has collected eight goals and four assists during this time. In total, the Revs are 10-1-1 when Nguyen scores and 5-0-0 when he records an assist.
Nguyen has already positioned himself in team folklore as his 14 goals are the most of any Revolution player since Taylor Twellman scored 16 in 2007. The Texan has also surpassed Diego Fagundez as the top-scoring midfielder in club history.
Nguyen’s fruitful year has drawn plenty of attention as local and national media personalities have campaigned for him to be a MLS MVP candidate. Nguyen took a step in a positive direction recently when he was nominated for September’s MLS Player of the Month award. The distinction ultimately went to Seattle’s Obafemi Martins.
While Nguyen’s play wasn’t enough to win September’s Player of the Month award, it might be enough to get him his first appearance for the US national team since 2007. Soon to be 28-years-old, Nguyen is in the prime of his career and could be a useful player for Jurgen Klinsmann in regards to the 2015 Gold Cup and the 2016 Copa America.
While Jermaine Jones recognized that the final decision on Nguyen’s international future lies with Klinsmann, he did praise his teammate.
"He scores a lot for the Revolution and he is playing well," Jones said. "If he keeps going at this pace, his time will come."
The roster for the national team’s upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras could be released as soon as Monday.