Dallas Texans Alumni:
Lee Nguyen was born October 7, 1986 in Richardson, Texas. Lee grew up in Plano and played for Dallas Texans '87 team under coaches Hassan Nazari and David Hudgell. Nguyen won many tournaments with the team, including the Dallas Cup, Disney Showcase, and Region III Championships (twice). Nguyen also won a National Championship in the U-18 age bracket and finished in third place in the Nation in his U-16 year. Lee was named the 2004–05 Gatorade National Boy Soccer Player of the Year - making him the second Texans player to ever receive that honor, following Nick Garcia. Nguyen turned down an offer from Major League Soccer to enter the league straight from high school, choosing instead to accept a scholarship to Indiana University.
In his first year at Indiana, Soccer Times and Soccer America both named Lee their national Freshman of the Year on the strength of his five-goal, twelve-assist campaign in autumn of 2005. He played one year at Indiana before pursuing a professional contract overseas.
Nguyen signed for PSV later in 2005 (joining fellow American DaMarcus Beasley) and then-coach Guus Hiddink groomed the youngster to play wing in his attack-minded 4-3-3 system. At PSV he put Lee (and not Nguyen) on the back of his Jersey because previously there was a Lee, future Vancouver Whitecaps FC teammate Lee Young-Pyo, from South Korea that played on PSV.
He made one appearance in the Eredivisie in 2006. Hiddink then left the club to coach the Russian national team and was replaced by Ronald Koeman, who preferred other options and demoted Nguyen to the reserve squad. Nguyen performed well for Young PSV but continued to struggle to get looks with the first team and began considering offers elsewhere. In early 2008, it was announced that the Danish Superliga club Randers FC had signed Nguyen until the summer of 2009.
After a year in Denmark Lee Nguyen signed with V-League club Hoàng Anh Gia Lai in 2009, moving to his parents homeland of Vietnam. He scored a hat trick on his first competitive appearance for HAGL in a 3-2 cup win over Saigon United. Lee finished his first season with nine league goals, four cup goals, and sixteen assists in twenty-four appearances helping his team to a sixth place finish in the league.
Through club partnership connections, Nguyen spent the summer of 2009 training with English club Arsenal in the hopes of earning another contract in Europe. In March 2010, after a deal with MLS club FC Dallas fell through, Nguyen signed an 18-month contract with 2009 V-League runners-up Becamex Bình Dương FC. After a successful year and half long stint, Becamex Bình Dương confirmed the club and Nguyen had mutually agreed to terminate his contract, making him a free agent.
In December 2011, it was officially announced that Nguyen had signed a multi-year deal with Major League Soccer which could potentially extend to 2015. The league used a weighted lottery system to determine the club for which he will play. Vancouver Whitecaps FC won the lottery on and landed Nguyen who will join them for the 2012 season.
A winger with creative dribbling skills, Lee has represented the United States national team as a member of several of its youth squads as well as the full National Team. He was the only high school player to be named in the U.S. squad for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship Nguyen made his debut for the senior national team on June 2, 2007 as a substitute in a 4-1 friendly match victory over China. He was named to the U.S. squad for the 2007 Copa América and made appearances against Paraguay and Colombia.