Lee Nguyen has had a lot on his mind lately, largely due to his ongoing contract dispute with the New England Revolution.
After collecting 18 goals and five assists in 2014, Nguyen hoped to renegotiate his contract. This wouldn’t be the case, however, which led to a situation that Nguyen called "frustrating." The 2014 league MVP candidate went on to say that he felt "a little disrespected."
Thirteen games into the season, Nguyen’s thoughts haven’t wavered as the midfielder is constantly thinking about his contract.
"It’s one of those things where you want to block it out, you say you block it out but it’s the first thing you think about when you walk into work, it’s the last thing you think about when you leave," Nguyen told Dalen Cuff on State of the Revs. "So, it’s always going to be on your mind."
While Nguyen has certainly been frustrated, he remains committed to winning for the team and its fans. Besides an early May blip during which he missed a couple of training sessions, Nguyen has been present and focused. He has started 11 of the 12 games he’s been available for, missing one due to injury.
"As a professional, you got to try to go on with it and do the best you can," Nguyen said. "When I’m on the field, that stuff kind of goes away, for the most part. At the end of the day, it’s [at the] back of the mind, but it’s stuff that I can’t control right now."
Despite Nguyen’s hard work, his numbers simply haven’t approached those of 2014. His one goal and two assists put him down the list in both statistical categories. He does, however, lead the team with 27 attempts on goal.
With numbers like these, some, including ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, have questioned Nguyen’s faithfulness to the Revolution. The player, however, has a different perspective in regards to the decline as he’s more interested in ensuring that his team grabs points on a weekly basis.
"We’re winning games," Nguyen noted. "That’s the most important thing. For me, it’s all about winning the Cup. That’s that I missed out of last year. If I could trade in all the goals and the assists, I would for a MLS Cup."