Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


Former USMNTer Retires To Join NWSL Coaching Ranks

Lee Nguyen was always one of the more technically gifted players in the USMNT player pool. For 15 years he played all over the globe, from the Netherlands to Vietnam, Los Angeles to Boston.

On Friday, he announced his retirement to focus on coaching, re-signing as an assistant coach with the NWSL’s Washington Spirit.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lee Nguyen (@leenguyen24)

Born in Richardson, Texas, Nguyen played one season of college ball at Indiana before going oversees to join PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie. His long career as an attacking midfielder saw him play for Randers (Denmark), New England Revolution, LAFC and Inter Miami while making nine appearances for the U.S. men’s national team. Nguyen’s father, Pham, fled Vietnam to the U.S. in 1973. Nguyen returned to Vietnam to play for three different clubs in the V.League 1.

Last year, after scoring five goals in nine games for Ho Chi Minh City, he joined the Spirit as an assistant coach on Oct. 6. Soon after, the Spirit won the NWSL Championship. Now he’s joining the club full time, trading in his playing boots for a coach’s whistle.

Washington announced the move with a video featuring a who’s who of American men’s soccer giving their well wishes to Nguyen, starting with two fellow Texans, Clint Dempsey and Brek Shea.

“I’m grateful and excited to be returning to the Washington Spirit with such a great staff and amazing group of players,” Nguyen said. “I’m committed to growing the women’s game in our country and I look forward to defending our title in 2022. Can’t wait to get to work.”

Though never a regular in the USMNT side, Nguyen has long been a big part of U.S. soccer. Whether it was more than 200 appearances with the Revs or nine caps in Jürgen Klinsmann’s national team, he always made a positive impact on his clubs, as the above video highlights.

Some of the comments on Nguyen’s Instagram retirement post pointed out the level of influence he had. Alex Morgan said she’s never seen someone so silky on the ball. Another former opponent, Matt Watson, said he was the only player who could never tackle. Olivia Moultrie called him a “true legend.”

Embed from Getty Images

Nguyen is currently working toward his B coaching license and has focused on working with the Spirit’s midfielders and forwards. He’ll join a staff led by Kris Ward, who was named head coach in August after Richie Burke was suspended.

“One of my goals after being named head coach was to bring Lee back as part of our coaching staff,” Ward said. “He was an incredibly important part of our championship run and I know the group is excited to have him return.”

Videos you might like