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."