Football

Why Jurgen Klinsmann should consider New England's form man

Nguyen has been in inspired form this season (©GettyImages)
Nguyen has been in inspired form this season (©GettyImages).

New England Revolution star Lee Nguyen may well be the most talented American outside of Brazil this summer.

The midfielder has scored four in his last six games as the Revs have climbed the Eastern Conference table, and yet he remains unlikely to receive a call from United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

Nguyen was capped three times in 2007 while playing for PSV Eindhoven, but since coming to Major League Soccer two years ago, his name has barely been mentioned despite some superb form.

The USA midfield is packed with talent, but in the continued absence of Stuart Holden, there might just be an opening.

The Bolton Wanderers man hasn't appeared for the national team since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 2013 Gold Cup final, and will not make a playing return for at least another six months.

While Brad Davis and Graham Zusi offer creativity from wide areas, and Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan possess a real goal threat, Michael Bradley is the only stand-out option from a deeper central midfield role.

Nguyen could hardly have had a better audition as he faced Bradley's Toronto FC last Saturday. The 27-year-old scored the deciding goal from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win, and by all accounts dominated the centre of the park.

He is New England's top-scorer in 2014 with four goals, including three in his last three, and possesses similar qualities to the injured Holden, with excellent close control and an eye for a pass.

Though Klinsmann seems certain to ignore him in the build-up to the World Cup, Nguyen has impressed many onlookers - particularly this season - and was named in the division's official team of the week on Monday.

Three of his strikes this season have been penalty conversions, and this display of a cool head in pressured situations suggests he'd be more than capable of performing on the biggest stage of all in Brazil.

It wouldn't be the Texan's first experience of a major international tournament anyway.

Nguyen's international career so far may have been brief, but he was part of the States team that made a guest appearance at the 2007 Copa America, playing in defeats to Paraguay and Colombia.

At present though, it looks as though Klinsmann's midfield void will be filled by Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones or Maurice Edu. All are worthy alternatives, but it would be foolish not to at least consider one of 2014's stand-out performers in the MLS.

If he does look elsewhere though, Team USA's loss could well be the Revolution's gain.

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Topics:
World Cup
MLS
Football
New England Revolution

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