In a blockbuster move, the New England Revolution sent Lee Nguyen to LAFC on Deadline Day. In return, the Revs got $700,000 in allocation money with the possibility of more money or a draft pick coming their way if certain scenarios play out. The move sent an all-around solid contributor to the Western Conference. Did the Revs make the right decision? Here’s what our staff has to say.
After holding out during preseason, Nguyen didn’t make the game day 18 for a single game under Brad Friedel. While the new Revs coach left the door open for a return, he also made it clear that Diego Fagundez was his No. 10. It would’ve been foolish for this saga to continue past this trade window.
Plus, Nguyen is being sent to a Western Conference team, which means he won’t be direct competition. While it’s possible that the Revs could’ve gotten more money if traded to someone in the East, it would’ve been risky to keep Nguyen in conference. Now the midfielder is out of sight, out of mind.
Finally, the Revs got a decent haul. $700,000 in allocation money shouldn’t be taken lightly since it could be used in the summer transfer window. Consider this, Friedel made nine acquisitions since taking charge, five of which are regular starters. This team is different than years past. Making this trade allows Friedel to continue to fulfill his vision.
I would’ve liked to see this saga play out sooner (or be completely avoided) but given the circumstances, I’m fine with this deal.
Jake C: Yes
Any deal at this point is a good deal for the Revs, though I do have questions about the timing that I will get to in a bit. Overall, with the rumors swirling around that the Chicago Fire were offering $750K in allocation for Lee Nguyen, I don’t have any issue with taking $700K with a few unlikely add-ons. If LAFC determine that Nguyen is just short term cover for the injured Marco Urena and try and recoup some of the allocation, the Revs would get back $100K and a first round pick. If Nguyen gets an extension past his current deal the Revs could also pick up additional allocation monies. While I disagree with the concept that Lee absolutely had to be traded to a Western Conference team rather than taking a more up front money from an East team (because MLS is weird and the goal should always be to get as much GarberBucks as possible), $50K in allocation isn’t worth squabbling about now that the deal is done.
As always, with any trade it can’t be fully evaluated until the Revs make use of these assets and that will have to come in the secondary summer window. Had the Revs done this deal months ago like they probably should have, they could have possibly added another player or two to the team in this current window or in preseason. The current group of new Revs in Penilla, Caicedo, Zahibo and Somi have all been starters since the beginning of the year and there was a chance to add to that group. Instead, the Revs sat back and now don’t even have the luxury of having Lee in case of injuries or for an Open Cup run. Of all the times to trade Lee, which was a necessary thing that had to happen, now was the worst possible time with any potential addition months away.
Still, I am happy for Lee and happy this situation is over even if it is six months too late.
Finally! This appears to be a win-win for both sides. I’m still not sold on Diego as #10, but maybe that playmaking role isn’t as important to Friedel’s system as high pressing, which requires a dedicated work rate. The saga is now complete and we can all look forward to Lee Nguyen Reunion Day in LA’s new Banc of California stadium on September 15.
First of all, the Revolution management was right and I was wrong.
I scolded them when it was reported they turned down $750,000 from an unnamed Eastern Conference club for Nguyen, saying his value would only go down because of inactivity. If the latest reports are accurate, his value went up while the Revs held out. If incentives are met, there is an outside change they could get up to $900,000 plus a draft choice. At a minimum they will get $700,000. That is a lot for a guy who hasn’t been in the 18-man game-day roster this season. He is also now in the Western Conference where he can do less damage to the Revs.
Secondly, good for Lee Nguyen.He gets to finish out his career on an ambitious, exciting new team with a fantastic stadium and an eager fan base. Nguyen is going to an organization that truly values him.
Lastly, Nguyen has been one of the most skillful, entertaining players in the league the past several years and we were lucky enough to watch him grow from a Vancouver castoff to the Revolution star. It’s a shame his run in New England had to end, but the team did a great job of getting the most it could for him.