FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Lee Nguyen likely circled this game on his calendar soon after he made his unexpected waiver wire switch from Vancouver to New England in March.
If he did, though, he isn't planning to bluster about it. Saturday night's affair at Gillette Stadium (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online) matters to him for the obvious reasons, but it holds a greater importance for the Revs as they embark upon a potentially vital stretch of seven home matches in their next nine outings.
“It's going to be like any other game, so I approach it the same [way],” Nguyen told MLSsoccer.com on Friday morning. “Of course, I want to win this game more so, but I think everybody here knows what's at stake. I think we're all going to go out really hard to try to get the win.”
If Nguyen pushes just a little bit harder than his teammates due to his own personal situation, then Revolution coach Jay Heaps doesn't mind it one bit. With three points on the line at home, Heaps said he'll take any little edge he can find to push his side to its third home win in four attempts.
“Obviously, Vancouver is very successful and we were fortunate enough to grab Lee when they waived him,” Heaps said. “Hopefully, it's one of those scenarios where Lee feels they didn't want him any more and he has a chance to show the team that didn't want him what he is made of.”
Nguyen has revealed his ample technical ability as a consistent starter in midfield so far this season, though the status quo may not hold for much longer. He faces a fight for his place over the next few weeks – Ryan Guy (returned to training this week after a bout of calf tightness) and Kelyn Rowe (suffered a left hamstring strain in practice on Thursday) will push for a starting berth upon their return to full fitness – and likely needs to influence games more regularly to retain his spot in the team.
After the Whitecaps shuttled him out the door after a brief spell with the team, Nguyen would like nothing more than to play a significant role in a Revolution victory on Saturday night. Heaps hopes Nguyen can have the last word against his former side.
“I think Lee has a got a good shot to play in this game,” Heaps said. “I'm hoping Lee has that confidence, the ability that when he has his chance, he can take players on. It would be special [for him to win the game].”