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Lee Nguyen fitting hero in New England Revolution’s clincher


Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen had every reason to smile following Saturday’s 2-2 draw against the Impact. 

Not only did his squad clinch a postseason berth with the result, but it was Nguyen’s 69th-minute cheeky chip shot strike over the reach of goalkeeper Evan Bush that leveled the terms for good and allowed the Revolution to walk off the Stade Saputo pitch with smiles on their faces. 

“Of course, I meant to chip him,” Nguyen told reporters with a laugh after the match. “No, I took a shot and it took a blessed little deflection. We were just happy to get the second goal there and hold on to that tie.” 

Call it a lucky shot or a well-executed effort. Either way, the fact is that Nguyen’s equalizer was just another reminder of how valuable he’s been this season — a season in which the Revolution clinched their earliest postseason berth since 2007. 

With a team-high 15 goals — seven of which were game-winners — and four assists, there’s no doubt that the Revolution probably wouldn’t have been in a celebratory mood on Saturday without Nguyen putting together an MVP-caliber season. 

Even if you take his 69th-minute goal out of the equation, the 28-year-old midfielder’s showing on Saturday was nothing short of superlative. He completed an eye-popping 92.2 percent of his passes, collected a pair of key connections and led all midfielders with 52 passes. 

“Lee has been awesome, and I thought tonight he played well again,” Heaps told reporters after the match. “It’s a battle; you go down twice on the road, especially here in Montreal, which is one of the hardest venues to play in.” 

Saturday’s match wasn’t easy for the Revolution, no doubt. They were victimized by a pair of Marco Di Vaio goals and seemed to struggle to find a consistent attacking rhythm during much of the first half. 

The fact that Nguyen’s form didn’t dip at all was a testament to the kind of season he’s enjoying. In many respects, it was only fitting that when the going got tough, Nguyen got going, just as he has so often this season. 

“It’s a goal that got us our position guaranteed in the playoffs,” Heaps said. “But now we want to concentrate on getting more points to guarantee a good spot in the playoffs.” 

Getting to the playoffs has been Nguyen’s primary focus all season. Although his name wasn’t called by U.S. Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann prior to Saturday’s contest, Nguyen seemed content in the knowledge that he and his teammates will be playing in November yet again. 

“It’s good that we’re in it now,” Nguyen said. “Now we’ll fine tune the little things in these next two games and get ready for the playoffs.”

via Lee Nguyen fitting hero in New England Revolution’s clincher – ESPN Boston.


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