Nguyen brace lifts Revolution past Sporting KC for third straight win

Lee Nguyen celebration by Stew Milne (USA TODAY)
Photo by Steve Milne/USA Today Sports Images

 

By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It was nothing new for the New England Revolution on Wednesday night as Gillette Stadium as Lee Nguyen delivered again for the playoff-hopeful Revs.

For a third straight week, the in-form central midfielder found a game-winning tally for the Revs, this time curling a 48th-minute volley into the upper right corner for the first goal of a brace as the Revolution took a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over reeling MLS Cup holders Sporting Kansas City.

“They put me in great positions to put the ball in the back of the net so I’ve got to reward them (by scoring),” Nguyen said. “Kelyn (Rowe) played me a great ball there in the first one and (Patrick) Mullins did a great job to get it through (Matt) Besler.”

Nguyen wasn’t done after the go-ahead strike, adding another in the 94th minute. In a show of his two-way ability, Nguyen created the turnover to start the counterattack on both goals.

“When Lee turns it over and you can’t get a guy to him and he has a little bit of space he lights up the field,” said Revs coach Heaps, who described Nguyen as a “double threat.”

The win was the third straight for the Revolution (11-12-3), while Sporting KC (12-9-6) lost its third game in a row. The Revs entered the day in a three-way tie in points for the final Eastern Conference playoff spots, but they now sit alone in third place just six points behind Sporting KC.

“When you don’t play with the kind of intensity that you need in this league, you’re always going to come up on the losing side,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “If there’s any lesson to be learned, it’s going to be that for our team.”

Sporting KC played without offensive stars Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber, who were both suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

Nguyen’s heroics again overshadowed star acquisition Jermaine Jones, who started his first MLS game and made his home debut, going 45 minutes before subbing out.

Heaps said due to Jones’ long layoff since the World Cup, he wanted to get him a full pre-game warmup rather an abbreviated one at halftime. Either way, he was only fit for 45 minutes.

“We really thought we wanted to attack the game from the beginning, kind of put our foot forward, knowing that (Jones) was coming out at halftime,” Heaps said.

Jones committed an early gaffe, heading it on to the far post off a long left side throw in by Matt Besler to help set up Sporting KC’s opener in the ninth minute. Soony Saad got in front of his marker, Teal Bunbury, to head it home past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.

Both would redeem themselves before the day was done, however, as Jones sent a long ball ahead to Bunbury from midfield. The former Sporting KC man got a friendly bounce off a defender, but was still credited with the 45th-minute equalizer.

“We talked a lot about that play in training,” Jones said. “I told (Bunbury) that I was going to play the ball over the top, and it was funny that it actually worked out today during the game. We practiced that play a lot, and I am happy to see that it worked out.”

Bunbury did not celebrate in front of his former club.

“It’s just another game,” Bunbury said. “Yeah, I was playing there and everything but I have great friends there. I have all the respect in the world for that organization, their fans.”

It was the second goal in as many games for Bunbury, and his fifth on the season, giving him the second-most goals on the team behind Nguyen, who now has 12 overall.

Nguyen, who leads all MLS midfielders in scoring, is also tied with the LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes for the most game-winners in the league with six.

“He’s really special,” Heaps said of Nguyen. “He’s got the quickest feet in the league and if you give him a little bit of space, he can hit a ball as good as anyone.”

The Revolution are back in action at home on Sunday against the Chicago Fire, while Sporting KC has an even tougher turnaround, playing away to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Adding to the storyline for the Revs is that the Fire were the other team involved in the blind lottery to acquire Jones.

“I’m not really sure why everyone keeps saying that (I am from Chicago), I am not from Chicago,” Jones said. “It’s a special game because it was one of the teams that wanted me. Now I am a player for New England and I will try to win for us.”

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the game? Where does Lee Nguyen rank among all MLS players right now? Who else impressed you tonight? How can Sporting KC snap out of its losing streak?

Share your thoughts below.

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29 Responses to Nguyen brace lifts Revolution past Sporting KC for third straight win

  1. Artie says:

    More like Lee Win, amirite?

  2. H-Town says:

    Deserves a January call up. Guy is lights out right now.

    • Yeaaah says:

      Bring him in for LDs send off.

    • Jon says:

      He deserves a call up next month. Why wait? So we can see Grandma Zusi play right back? And Michael Bradley pass to the other team? And watch our midfield become destroyed because we don’t have anyone with any talent to hold the ball at their feet and scare defenses? Well Lee Nguyen has that talent. He proved it tonight. Let’s see him play!!

    • quozzel says:

      The lack of a true #10 has been the most glaring deficiency of this team for quite awhile…there was a lot of hope that Holden could have been that guy but injuries derailed him. We’ve got a bunch of destroyers, hard-running box-to-box types, but no real string-puller. One of the things that sort of turned my head around was how well the MLS All-Star team – with guys like Valeri and Erick Torres pulling the strings – did against Bayern, with a lot of the same guys that couldn’t hold the ball against Germany.

      I don’t think the USA is as far off as some people perceive; we’ve got athletes, we’ve got defenders, we’ve got one of the world’s best pools of keepers…we may not have all-World forwards but with guys like Altidore and Dempsey we can score if they get opportunities.

      Nguyen LOOKS like what the doctor ordered…I’d definitely give him a really long, long look. Like the way this guy is playing right now.

  3. Matt says:

    lee ha the wheels to play out on the wing…..CALL HIM IN KLINSI !
    Maybe the USMNT migh have a true goalscrer up top who has a nose for the goal !

  4. Bruce says:

    I like Lee and Diskerud as our future attacking mids.

  5. Jon says:

    So where are the dummies saying “too old”? When you can ball, you can ball. It doesn’t matter the age. After watching Diskerud today, I’m sorry but Lee Nguyen is better. I’ll take my chances with him over anybody we have now. It’s time for JK to stop messing around and call this dude up. He has everything we need and more. No more Grandma Zusi’s of the world. We need real players and Lee Nguyen can do that.

  6. Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

    It is surreal how many guys are missing out on watching MLS.

    Really the only thing you can do is laugh at them.

  7. Fred says:

    It strikes me that Nguyen and Jones would make an odd couple flying to nat games.

  8. RevsRule says:

    I watched the game and Lee is the best halfback in MLS. Period. KC tried to double down on him as soon as he got the ball and he still managed to score two beautiful goals. Im talking a left bend on the first one and a right bend on the second. If you give him a look at the goal he will bury it as he did twice last night. Easily player of the week material. If JK doesnt give him a call for the next game he’s a bigger fool then I already think he is. He is exactly what we don’t have right now as a center mid. He has great ball control and dribbling skills, very quick, good passer, plays 90 minutes end to end, tracks back and is a deadly finisher if given a chance. There is no reason not to give him chances to show what he can do. Heaven knows weve given countless chances to tools like Shea and Torres. Lee is 100 times better then them and better then any half in the pool right now

    • Jon says:

      Agreed 100%, finally someone knows what they’re talking about. We got dummies like Tom crying for Grandma Zusi and his SKC squad to be called up.

      • Buck says:

        I thought Zusi looked like a bit of a punk last night but the biggest punk was Seth whatever. He sent Bunbury into the side boards on purpose and should have got a red for that. Played like a total hack

      • Tom says:

        Not at all, I think Zusi is quite past it and I don’t have any interest in seeing him until we see fresher and especially younger blood get significant time.

        So, you know, go eat a lightly salted bag of… pretzels.

        • Jon says:

          Past it? The guy was always a mediocre player. He just comes from the league leader in whiners and divers and hackers. SKC gets the most attention because they whine and hack their way to wins. Hopefully they fade away and we’ll never have to hear from them until they get some real talent. (Aside from Feilhaber)

  9. Tom says:

    I’d be happy to have Nguyen called up for the next camp/games. Especially if it would shut Jon up. Jon, do you practice being abrasive before you comment, or does it just come naturally?

    • Jon says:

      Nope I’m just naturally smarter than you and know more about soccer. I know talent when I see it and Nguyen has got it. Klinsmann should be fired if Nguyen isn’t called up.

      • Eric W says:

        Lol, in other words, “Yes, I do practice being abrasive.” And I flippin’ love Nguyen.

        • Jon says:

          It’s not abrasive if it’s true! And how’s your SKC doing? Grandma Zusi could’ve really used a wheelchair last night huh?!

      • Tom says:

        I find both your factual claims to be quite unlikely and don’t care the least bit about your opinion regarding JK’s employment. Have fun, kiddo.

        • Jon says:

          Spoken like a true turd. From now on you will be referred to as Turd. Your love for Grandma Zusi will be your downfall Turd.

  10. fifawitz1313 says:

    I think if he hadn’t gone to Vietnam, he would be in consistent consideration for the USMNT.

  11. Bruce says:

    JK is obviously going to check the highlights because of Jones. He’s going to see what Lee did. If he still doesn’t call him up, it will be a travesty.

  12. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    I love how this Revs team is built. They seem solid. Look out!

  13. Paulo says:

    Not to take anything away from Lee and break up the love fest here but that pass from Rowe and the pass from Mullins, great passes. These guy’s set him very nicely last night. The defense played very well too. SKC were very frustrated, especially Zusi. Teal did a great job 1v1 on that first goal as well. I’m calling this the best win of the season. Yes Revs have had larger win margins but to beat this team the way they did was just fantastic.