New England Revolution fans witnessed a rare sight on Saturday, as stalwart midfielder and team captain Lee Nguyen exited before the hour mark. The substitution, which saw Daigo Kobayashi enter, was completed out of necessity more than tactics.
“I bruised my ankle and I was trying to go the second half then I got kicked again right in the beginning,” Nguyen explained while talking to reporters post-game. “I wasn’t able put any pressure on it, so I tried but I couldn’t keep going. I told them I needed to come off.”
When comparing the two blows, Nguyen identified the second as particularly damaging, saying that he tried “to keep going for five to ten minutes but couldn’t.” Head coach Jay Heaps then looked to his bench to make his first change of the night.
“I think Lee was carrying that a little bit,” Heaps said of the injury. “Hopefully he can get a little bit better. He just felt like he couldn’t be as crafty as he usually is.”
The Revs will hope for a quick recovery time for Nguyen, as they host Orlando City SC next Saturday. Though Heaps said that their 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids “wasn’t a barn-burner,” he and his players hope to learn from the experience.
“Obviously, it’s not how we wanted to start but for the most part we kept it tight.” Nguyen said. “We wanted to give ourselves a chance and we did that for the most part. We have to take this and learn from it. We have our home game next week.”