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Lee Nguyen: From a cult hero in MLS to finishing an undone task in Vietnam

Lee Nguyen: From a cult hero in MLS to finishing an undone task in Vietnam

A veteran back in the land of dream, and now, he is returning back home for the second time in 10 years.

After such a decorated career in the US, Lee Nguyen is now linked to a move back in Vietnam, for the club Ho Chi Minh City. If this move can proceed, this will be the second time out playing in Vietnam for this former USA international.

Lee Nguyen is one of the most productive attackers in MLS, a possession-oriented player who excels when tucked in centrally behind the forwards. He adds a creative, highly-technical element to the attack, with his top MLS season coming in 2014, when he scored 18 goals and finished third in MLS MVP voting as the Revolution reached the MLS Cup final.

Lee Nguyen: From a cult hero in MLS to finishing an undone task in Vietnam

Lee Nguyen, who holds the dual U.S. and Vietnamese citizenship, played in Vietnam for two different clubs earlier in his career, first for Hoang Anh Gia Lai where he scored nine goals in 24 appearances in 2009-2010. He then made 15 appearances with Becamex Binh Duong before his move to MLS.

The 33-year-old emerged as one of the best attacking midfielders in MLS during his six-season run with the New England Revolution, where he racked up 51 goals in 191 appearances from 2012-2018 and was an MVP finalist in 2014, when he put up 18 goals and five assists in 32 games. After getting traded to LAFC ahead of the 2018 season, Nguyen had three goals and five assists in the club's expansion campaign. He started just 11 of his 23 appearances last year, tallying four assists without recording a goal before he was selected by Inter Miami in the MLS Expansion Draft this offseason.

Lee Nguyen: From a cult hero in MLS to finishing an undone task in Vietnam

Such an impressive career in the MLS earns him an honor to be selected to the US Men's National Team. Called up to the US national team for the first time in 2007 and has made nine appearances. Represented the US in the 2007 Copa America, making three appearances. Called up again in Nov. 2014 and has made six more appearances since.Lee Nguyen: From a cult hero in MLS to finishing an undone task in Vietnam

It is not like everyone that can earn the trust and respect from those high-class names in the US. Lee Nguyen was first called up to the national team back in 2007 by head coach Bob Bradley at the age of 19. And 11 years later, he still earns the respect from him, being drafted to LAFC to play football alongside the names like Carlos Vela and the former Belgium international Laurent Ciman.

At the age of 33, David Beckham came calling to offer him a role at his newly-found club Inter Miami. Such a pleasure to play under the reign of one of the most decorated superstars back in England.

But now, it seems like his mission in the dreamland of the USA is over. He has to finish the task back in Vietnam, as at the time before, it did not turn out well for him. His new mission now is to help the up-and-rising team Ho Chi Minh City to seriously challenge for the title against the mighty Ha Noi FC, and do well at the AFC Cup.