FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When your name becomes a trending topic on Twitter, it usually means you’ve done something right.
And that's exactly the case with New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen, whose play of late has prompted the phrase “Nguyening” – or “Nguyenning,” if you prefer his own spelling – to permeate the North American soccer lexicon.
On the stats sheet, Nguyen’s team-leading four goals instantly stand out, but it’s his play from box to box, especially defensively, that has helped his team capture 10 points over their last four matches.
“He’s working extremely hard,” head coach Jay Heaps told the media on Tuesday. “He’s making it very difficult [for other teams] to play. When a team is trying to build, he’s taking away one or two options with his pressure and that really helps the backs get set, it helps the other midfielders gets set.”
Nguyen laid down his latest marker in the Revs' 2-1 road win over Toronto FC on Saturday, tracking back to disrupt the opposition’s build-up play in addition to his assured passing and possession work.
“Lee does a nice job, if we are advanced and there is a turnover and we need that cover,” said Heaps. “I think Lee did that very well in the last game, retreating back.”
Growing into one of the better all-around players in the league, Nguyen has stepped up every facet of his game, including burying penalty kicks, he which has successfully done in each of the last three games.
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“He tries to make plays happen,” teammate Diego Fagundez said. “He’s doing a good job right now and he needs to keep it up.”
For the laid-back Nguyen, who has experienced no shortage of ups and downs in his professional career to date, it’s all a matter of going with the flow of the team.
“I’m feeling fit and the whole team is thriving right now,” said Nguyen. “We’re playing good soccer, which helps me get in the groove of things.”