Lee Nguyen has gotten the call for the United States. The New England Revolution midfielder, who has been so outstanding this year that he is a legitimate MLS MVP candidate, will play for the Americans when they take on Colombia and Ireland in friendlies next week.
Nguyen last played for the U.S. in 2007. He was one of the country's most promising young players and starred for various youth teams, but he struggled to break through at the club level and thus, the U.S. senior team. Still, Bob Bradley called him up for three matches in 2007 when much of the first team was unavailable. Those proved to be his only caps to this point and after years in the Vietnamese League, many thought he was done as a national teams.
Everything changed for Nguyen in 2012 when he signed with MLS and eventually joined the Revolution. He was a solid contributor there, but this season he took it to a whole other level. The 28-year-old scored 18 goals and added five assists, starring for a team that may be the best in MLS right now. With his production, as well as a quickness, technicality and creativity, it seemed like a given that Jurgen Klinsmann would give him a call, and now he has.
It remains to be seen if Nguyen is as good as he has been this season. He has not sustained a high level of play for several years, and at 28 years old, he doesn't have a ton of top quality soccer left in him. Still, he has been so good that Klinsmann couldn't not give him a look.
The one interesting note is that Nguyen will play in friendlies that are right in the middle of the MLS Cup Playoffs, and the Revs figure to still be alive. Traditionally, U.S. managers have not called up players in this scenario, but this wouldn't be the first time that Klinsmann bucked a system he has spoken out against and he could ease tensions by having Nguyen play in just one of the friendlies. Klinsmann's call could be contingent on the Revs losing too, and if they are still alive then Nguyen won't join up, but he will at least know that he's in the picture.