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Nguyen tallies twice in final half hour to lift Revs past Houston

LeeNguyen (USA Today Images)Photo by David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports



As Lee Nguyen goes, so go the New England Revolution.

The star midfielder came through with his MLS-leading eighth game-winning goal Thursday night, as Nguyen scored twice in the final 25 minutes to send the traveling Revs to a 2-1 comeback victory over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Nguyen’s brace upped his goal total to 17 this season — the fourth-highest total in the league and six more than any other true midfielder. It was the ninth time in the last 10 games that Nguyen has had either a goal or an assist. The Revolution (16-13-4) have won eight of those games.

The Dynamo (11-16-6) led for nearly a half hour, but Nguyen’s late heroics spoiled the evening for longtime coach Dominic Kinnear, who was looking to go out with a win in his final home game as Dynamo coach. Houston had already been eliminated from playoff contention the previous weekend.

Giles Barnes banged in the rebound on an Omar Cummings try in the 37th minute. Cummings made a well-timed run in behind A.J. Soares, but had his try parried away by Bobby Shuttleworth (3 saves). Barnes was there to run onto the ball for the Englishman’s 11th goal of the season.

Nguyen’s first goal came in the 65th minute off some sharp ball movement as Jermaine Jones played a through ball to Kevin Alston down the left sideline on one of his first touches of the game. Alston centered to Nguyen, who sidestepped Jermaine Taylor and then zoomed it inside the right post.

The go-ahead strike came in the 87th minute as the Revolution pressured in the box. Jones found Davies in close to goal, but Tyler Deric came up with the initial save. Defender Darrius Barnes smartly laid the rebound off to Nguyen, who sent it home from inside 10 yards.

The Revs had the better of the offensive chances, creating 20 shots, and their effectiveness increased after Jones, Davies and Alston subbed on early in the second half. Jones only played in a limited role because he was with the U.S. Men’s National Team two days prior.

The Dynamo finish their season the road next weekend against the Chicago Fire, while the Revolution close the regular season at home against Toronto FC. The Revs locked up an Eastern Conference playoff-spot last weekend and they’re still trying to lock down the No. 2 seed.

What did you think of the Revs-Dynamo game? Where does Lee Nguyen rank among MVP candidates? What are your thought’s on Dom Kinnear’s final home game?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Anybody else think Garrido was lucky to have stayed the night? That high elbow on Nguyen was a straight red. Could have led to a possible career-ending injury. I hope the MLS Disciplinary Committee reviews that one and hands him about three games to think about it.

  2. I agree with everyone about Nguyen…but everyone needs to realize that there are going to be VERY talented people left behind next cycle.

    He could be one of them.

    Where is Jorgen to tell me how that is a good thing for US Soccer ?

  3. I want the US National team to look a little more like the Revs. In other words, I want to see Nguyen, Jones, AND Davies donning the red, white and blue very soon.

    • Serious question: Is Davies worthy of a call up?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see him back in the mix if it’s warranted but the last few matches of NE I’ve caught he hasn’t even started.

      • Davies is back looking like the Energizer Bunny again. I was underwhelmed when he initially made his “comeback” but he looks, if anything, better than he did before his injuries. Looks stronger, has a nastier edge on him, and just goes and goes at you. He’s definitely hungrier.

        He always combined very well with Jozy, makes you wonder if he’d make a good right forward in a 4-3-3. Put Gyau or Green on the left and hey, you have a REAL active, aggressive front line with a whole bunch of pace that will press and get after ya.

        Toss in three of your best two-way mids, some wingbacks with pace who can give you your width – and hey, we’ve got those now, especially with Garza emerging at LB and Fabian Johnson/Timothy Chandler/DeAndre Yedlin all available at RB – and you’ve got a legit 4-3-3.

        We’re getting there. Going to be a VERY fascinating next cycle.

      • Better than before his injuries? He was scoring in France and on the national team for fun.

        He’ll never reach those heights again. He’ll probably get into the January camp if he does well in the playoffs. Jones might put in a good word too.

      • In his prime I liked him, but let’s be real, that was a different pool of players (from which he did stand out). Landon and Clint were playing out of position, Jozy was new and hit and miss (as ever), Buddle, Gomez, Findley……much more quality now, even if he raises his game back up.

        But the more the merrier. Could be worse, like centerback.

    • The US team WILL look like New England, even if NONE of them go.

      Young, very talented and athletic Americans will be what it looks like.

  4. If you give Lee any room, he will score. Period. His accuracy and ability to creat his own shot exceeds ANYBODY JK can roll out and I mean anybody. His passing and defense is very good too. He is a total package. You can now add Brad Davis to the list of JK players he has out preformed in head to head competition. If JK does not cap him soon then JK is an anti-American bigot and needs to be fired. This one is a no brainer.

    His first goal was scored on a brilliant move to his right to beat the defender and BAM… in the net it goes. The second was more right place at right time. JK CANNOT deny him once there is no MLS conflict. He can take Dempsey’s starting place right now

    • Issue with Nguyen is — and generally has been — can he do that with someone draped on him. A qualifier is not a tea party where he will be handed space like last night.

  5. And Houston’s worse season (I rank this one over 2010) ever is finally over. Highlight of the night was Dom’s speech at the end to the fans who stayed a bit late. Guy is all class.

    • Ex-Sounder, what do you expect.

      I always figured I would like him as a person. And of course guys are ripping now that the team is down, but they were showing the stats of his 9 year last night….wow.

      Stats like 4 MLS finals in 9 years.

  6. When you give up 58 goals in a season and blow games like this, it is not simply we need one more centerback and we’re fine.

    • Me and the wife were discussing this last night as the team was once again showing no signs of life or energy for long stretches of the game. No easy answer but this entire year has felt off.. tactically and surprisingly no motivation. Players going through the motions and, my goodness, stagnate play all over the place…. No movement offensively and poor and I mean poor team defense all year. Time for a major change.

      • Love that your wife takes an active interest in the sport. That’s awesome to hear.

        Is she single? (light-hearted joke).

      • Lame duck coach, lame duck players, no playoffs to prepare for. If we were thinking about the team first, coach gets canned and goes immediately to SJ, so we can evaluate players under interim management. We instead go classy — even though this is a breakup — so he gets to manage like it still matters and the team has nothing to play for. A different regime would demand impressing someone new who would maybe stick around. But what does Kinnear care if a Dynamo dogs it. He’s already formulating SJ in his spare time (a conflict that probably hurts our preparation) and will be there in a week.

  7. Class…….Absolutely class last night, especially when Jones came on. His first touch, dribbling skills, vision on the ball ad speed of play was just pure class. Plus, the team is rallying around him and making him the center of the attack. A lot of his success is because everyone on the team seems to involve him in each play and find him unselfishly in the box. The best part is he’s combining very well with Jones (who seems to be part of most NE’s good plays). To have an attacking Midfielder scoring 17 goals this season is good news for the USMNT. Congrats LEE

  8. Somebody cap that guy Nguyen! I kid, but man, who else do we have who can shake and bake like him? I wasn’t a believer, but I’ve become one. He definitely deserves the call-up.

    • I’ve been extremely impressed with Nguyen myself…actually, Andrew Farrell too. Farrell is just a freak mutant athlete and by a mile the most athletic CB in MLS. I like Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez but nobody will ever confuse either of them with, say, Vincent Kompany, whereas Farrell…maybe. Still a little raw but his ceiling is up there.

      Nguyen regards me as just a whole lot like Mix Diskeruud, though…the bad as well as the good. They say he’s doing better with his defensive duties and work rate but that aspect of his game still looked like a work in progress to me. The thing I love out of Nguyen is how incredibly positive and intelligent his first touch is, and then he takes off like a rocket, goes 0-60 in about two steps.

  9. This summary doesn’t do justice to Jone’s role in the game. NE did not look anywhere close to scoring until he came on, and immediately they began dominating the game. His pass on the first goal was a thing of beauty, and he had an important role in the second too. Nguyen did well on both, but really I think Jones was the difference in the game.

    • Absolutely correct. No hyperbole, he should be a viable candidate behind Nguyen for MVP. He’s been that good and that much of a game changer.

      • Really makes you appreciate the level of skill and how good he actually is if you hadn’t already…perfect fit for this squad too.

        Also, really hope Jurgen rewards Lee soon.

      • Agreed.

        I had my doubts about him going to NE, too, and what kind of mentality and professionalism he would approach the situation considering it wasn’t his first (or possibly second or third, if any) choice. That was my mistake in questioning his disposition given the circumstances.

        Jones is a beast.

    • Let’s be real if they start Jones they win this one in the first half. The flow of the game was a product of starting some bench people and only then bringing in the studs. Like a cup tie.

      Sarkodie is nowhere to be found on his right channel and Driver is exposed by throughballs. The defense all seems positional instead of on-men. Both goals the shooter finds a soft spot in the zone.

      Nguyen has earned a call but the question is if his game has grown and maybe if he can handle more physicality than before. We know he’s technical, the question is if he can hold off people and do this same stuff.

      • As a defender, I’m not a fan of backs whose supposed virtue is attacking. That strikes me as a contradiction or excuse.

        The re-signing of Driver reflects DK’s conservative ethos. He even kind of knew better — at first he was gone — but was too risk averse to break eggs to make a better omelette. “Oduro.” “Serioux.”

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