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ESPN: Lee Nguyen impresses in his first start for USA National team against Iceland


as the U.S. starts 2016 with a win

A 90th minute goal from Steve Birnbaum gave the United States a 3-2 victory in a thrilling match against Iceland.

CARSON, Calif. — Three points from the United States’ 3-2 win vs. Iceland.

Kristinn Steindorsson’s deflected effort put the visitors ahead after 13 minutes, but Jozy Altidore leveled matters seven minutes later after a clever through ball from Michael Bradley.

Aron Sigurdarson put Iceland in front with a curling effort just three minutes into the second half, but Michael Orozco pulled the hosts level with a headed goal in the 59th minute.

It was left to Steve Birnbaum to settle matters, as he nodded home Bradley’s free kick in the 90th minute to give the U.S. the victory.

Nguyen shines in his first start

Lee Nguyen was a frequent presence in national team camps for much of the past year, yet has struggled to get minutes. His three substitute appearances in 2015 amounted to just 78 minutes, and Sunday’s match marked his first start in a U.S. uniform.

Nguyen’s lack of opportunities has been something of a head-scratcher given his creativity. Regardless of the reason, the New England Revolution midfielder made the most of his opportunity on Sunday.

Nguyen US Iceland 160131
Lee Nguyen made his U.S. debut in 2007, but Sunday marked just his eighth international appearance.

He continually found space tucking from the left wing and, while he didn’t get on the score sheet, plenty of his passes created danger, including a 16th-minute cross that Zardes should have put on goal, but which instead bounced over. Nguyen remained involved in the second half when he took up a more central role in support of Altidore and, later, Jordan Morris.

Nguyen will certainly find it difficult to get starts when the full U.S. team reconvenes for World Cup qualifying in March, especially given the form of Fabian Johnson. But at minimum the Revs star has earned additional call-ups in the future.

Source: Jozy Altidore and Lee Nguyen impress as USA beats Iceland – ESPN FC