FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution are learning that the easiest way to spell “win” is N-G-U-Y-E-N.
Of the team’s nine wins on the season, six have come when midfielder Lee Nguyen has struck paydirt, which he did again in the 56th minute on Saturday night, propelling the Revs to a 1-0 win over Chivas USA.
It was Nguyen’s team-leading ninth goal on the season, matching his total goals scored from the prior two seasons combined.
“People think that Lee wasn’t as good last year,” said Kelyn Rowe following the victory. “I think he’s just as good. He’s just gotten more chances and I think he’s taken his chances very well this year.”
To put that thought into perspective, Nguyen had converted on 23 percent of his shots on target in getting to the nine combined goals scored in 2012 and 2013.
This year his success rate has risen to 43 percent of his shots on goal, a much needed number for a club who at times has struggled to get their top strikers on the board.
“To me, he’s just playing great,” said coach Jay Heaps in his postgame press conference. “I think tonight he found good pockets. When he gets it off his foot the first time and he finds a second ball … When he does that, the game is his.”
Nguyen’s ability to work across the central midfield with the ball in tow, combined with the comfort level he shares with much of the team that swirls around him, has garnered great praise across the league.
That was all on display against Chivas as Nguyen worked tirelessly on two big chances in the first half that just missed.
Continuously plugging along, Nguyen was in the right spot at the right time following a nifty give-and-go between Daigo Kobayashi and Rowe, and the Revs leading scorer made the most of that opportunity from the top of the box with a right-footed boot that Chivas 'keeper Dan Kennedy couldn't quite get behind, tipping it into the top left corner of the net.
“[The play] was going from left to right, and Kelyn and Daigo did a good little combination,” said Nguyen. “I just took a touch and was able to get a good enough shot on it. It was great to get three points, that’s the main thing,”
Once again the efforts of Nguyen have New England back on the Nguyen-ing track.