Nguyen gets back at former team

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Nguyen gets back at former team

FOXBORO -- When midfielder Lee Nguyen was cut by the Vancouver Whitecaps in March and then signed with the New England Revolution, he circled May 12 on the schedule.

That would be when his former club came to Gillette Stadium to have the Revs.

Nguyen felt slighted about being cut, even his current coach, Jay Heaps, said as much following Saturday night's match. And what better way to show your former team up than by scoring two goals and adding an assist en route to a 4-1 Revolution win.

"Lee has been a great locker room guy for us," said Heaps after the win. "And on the field, he's doing a lot of things.

"This week, I just had a quiet little talk with him, and said, 'Hey look, this is a good moment for you, a good chance. You're going to play against your former team.' And as a former player that played against my former team, the Miami Fusion, a couple times, there is certainly something there when someone says that you're either expendable, or that they want to move on without you.

"It was never that the Vanouver Whitecaps didn't think he was a good player, because I know they did," added Heaps. "I just think that they said that they have a lot of guys that are similar, and they're going to move on."

Nguyen had a little something to show against his former team, and he began showing that in the sixth minute, when he tied the game at 1-1, just a minute after Vancouver took an early 1-0 lead.

"We worked all week on making sure we wanted to start well, and we didn't," said Heaps. "That's disappointing, but at the same time, I think that it woke us up a little bit.

"We kind of got sucker-punched there, but we liked the way we started the game, and we were up for it tonight," said Chris Tierney after the win. "You could kind of feel, throughout the team, even though the goal went in, heads didn't drop. Things happen, and we picked ourselves up and got right back in it."

But it was Nguyen's second goal of the game that will be on the highlight reel for years to come.

In the 72nd minute, Nguyen put the Revs up 4-1, as he buried a deep shot from the left wing, outside of the box. Nguyen took a throw-in, knocked it down once with his foot, let it bounce, booted it out of mid-air, and it ended up going top shelf.

"Lee can shoot," said Heaps. "And we work on that stuff in training. So you see Lee, once in a while, put a shot on."

"He played great," said Tierney. "We've known that he's been capable of that. I think he's been awesome all year long, and it's good to see it finally pay off with two goals."

Revolution shut out by D.C. United, 2-0

Revolution shut out by D.C. United, 2-0

WASHINGTON -- Lamar Neagle had a goal and an assist to give D.C. United an early lead that stood up in a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

D.C., after being shut out in its two previous games and four of six, opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Luciano Acosta chipped a perfect pass over the defense to the foot of Neagle, who volleyed it in from 10 yards out.

Sean Franklin scored the second goal, his first of the season, when he knocked in Neagle's cross. Albaro Saborio sent a long ball down the right sideline that Neagle ran down and crossed to Franklin for the easy counter.

D.C. (5-6-5) leapfrogged the Revolution (4-5-7) into fifth in the Eastern Conference with its fourth shutout in the last seven games and improved to 2-0-1 in the series this season.

Messi leads Argentina over U.S. 4-0, into Copa America final

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Messi leads Argentina over U.S. 4-0, into Copa America final

HOUSTON — Lionel Messi was too much for the United States to contain.

The five-time world player of the year set up Ezequiel Lavezzi's opening goal in the third minute, then scored on a free kick to break Argentina's career scoring record and assisted on the final goal in a 4-0 rout of the U.S. on Tuesday night that put the La Albiceleste into the Copa America final.

"This was the goal when we got here, to play another final and we made it," Messi said. "We've been spectacular from day one and we deserved this."

After Messi doubled the lead in the 32nd minute with his 55th international goal, his tournament-leading fifth, Gonzalo Higuain quickly ended U.S. comeback hopes when he put the rebound of his initial shot past goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the 50th. Higuain scored off a Messi pass in the 86th.

Argentina will seek its first major title since the 1993 Copa — and its first since Messi's debut in 2005 — when it plays Chile or Colombia on Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

"That's what we hope and what we want, to finally achieve that," Messi said. "We deserve it, for all the good work we've been doing all these years."

It might be missing Lavezzi, who fell backward over an advertising sign board and appeared to land hard on his left arm at about the 60th minute. Lavezzi was able to get up several minutes later and left on a cart.

Hosting a special, expanded 16-nation edition of South America's championship to celebrate Copa America's 100th anniversary, the U.S. won a difficult group that included third-ranked Colombia and then beat No. 13 Ecuador in the quarterfinals. But top-ranked Argentina and Messi, who turns 29 Friday and is at the top of his game, outclassed the U.S. from the opening whistle and stunned the sellout crowd of 70,858 at NRG Stadium.

Messi has helped Barcelona win eight titles in Spain's La Liga and four in the Champions League, but his Argentina trophies have been limited to the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship for players under 20 and the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, mostly for players under 23. La Albiceleste lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and to Chile in last year's Copa America final.

The U.S. and coach Jurgen Klinsmann were trying to rebound after getting eliminated by Jamaica in the semifinals of last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup, losing to Mexico in a playoff for a 2017 Confederations Cup berth and struggling in the semifinal round of 2018 World Cup qualifying. The Americans close the tournament Saturday in the third-place match at Glendale, Arizona.

Klinsmann inserted midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Graham Zusi into his lineup along with forward Chris Wondolowski because of suspensions assessed to midfielders Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya, and forward Bobby Wood. In an effort to spark offense, 17-year-old Christian Pulisic entered at the start of the second half, and Steve Birnbaum came on in the 60th for Beckerman, allowing Geoff Cameron to move up to midfield, and Darlington Nagbe replaced Clint Dempsey in the 78th.

Argentina went ahead when Lavezzi played a short corner kick to Ever Banega, who passed back to Lavezzi sprinting from the corner diagonally. Lavezzi beat Fabian Johnson to the ball and poked it to Messi about 25 yards out, in the center of the field. As the U.S. defense started to come out, Messi one-timed a flick with his left foot over the back line to Lavezzi, who got to the ball ahead of Kyle Beckerman about 7 yards from the goal. He headed the ball over Guzan, who had started to come off his line.

Messi doubled the lead after Beckerman slipped and Chris Wondolowski took down Messi, earning a yellow card. Klinsmann screamed at Paraguayan referee Eduardo Cardozo as Messi placed the ball about 26 yards out, a few yards closer to the goal than the foul. After the U.S. set up its wall, Messi bent a beautiful curving drive that went just over Guzan's outstretched left palm and into the upper corner.

Messi moved one ahead Gabriel Batistuta's career total, according to the Argentine Football Association. However, FIFA records Batistuta's total as 56, including two goals in an exhibition against Slovakia in June 1995.

Higuain scored when he burst past John Brooks for Lavezzi's pass and one-timed a shot that Guzan stopped with a diving save, then poked the rebound into an open net. Messi nearly added a goal in the 83rd with a 20-yard shot that Guzan palmed to safety.

Feldman: Terrific goal by Rowe to win the game

Feldman: Terrific goal by Rowe to win the game

Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner break down the New England Revolution’s victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps behind the goals from London Woodberry and Kelyn Rowe.