FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – He was the guy that helped snap his team out of its early-season funk. And once again Lee Nguyen picked up the New England Revolution in a time of need, contributing to all three of the club’s goals on Wednesday night.
That effort, alongside a complete performance by the rest of the squad, helped the Revs snap a post-shootout-era-record eight-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
“Lee, for me, is one of the best players at his position in the league,” said coach Jay Heaps following the game. “When he’s playing well he’s leading the attack in the other team’s half. He has an innate ability to find the open guy or take the shot himself.”
Nguyen played like a midfielder possessed from the get-go, orchestrating his team in the middle of the field with precision passes across the pitch that connected 83 percent of the time.
His work off the ball was equally solid, and resulted in New England’s first goal. After receiving a pass in the box from Charlie Davies, Nguyen fired it towards the far post, where it seemed destined for glory before Rapids defender Drew Moor deflected it into the net on his own.
“It was great to get the lead,” said Nguyen. “Then we were able to play our game and the guys were more relaxed after that. Everyone said it was going [on target], I just looked up and saw that it went in after.”
With the Revs working with their first lead in over eight matches, Nguyen added some insurance when he bent a free kick from the top of the box around the Colorado wall, past the reach of Clint Irwin and into the top corner of the net.
That goal, Nguyen’s team-leading seventh of the season, pushed New England 2-0 ahead in the 75th minute.
“It’s a guy like Lee Nguyen that we want taking that shot,” said Kelyn Rowe. “Lee stepped up in a big way today. It’s a great performance by Lee.”
A few minutes later, following a pass out of defense from Jose Goncalves, Nguyen found Rowe streaking up the middle of the field, resulting in the Revs' third goal of the game.
It had been nine games since the Revolution scored more than twice.
And just like when he got a struggling attack rolling back in March with a 93rd-minute winner in a 2-1 win over San Jose that ended the Revs' winless start to the season, Nguyen was again the impetus for a New England breakout.