Southeast Asia Vietnam

Lee Nguyen Set to Return to HCMC

Reports from Vietnamese media suggest that Vietnamese-American midfielder Lee Nguyen is set to come out of retirement to play for Ho Chi Minh City FC for the remainder of the 2022 V.League 1 season.

35-year old Lee’s return to the sport is further reinforced by a Facebook post made by Ho Chi Minh City in their official Facebook page, which reads out, “Welcome back, Lee Nguyen.”

Lee was no stranger for the Red Battleship’s setup, having played for them in the 2021 V.League 1 season which was curtailed by the pandemic. He formed an integral part of then-head coach’s Alexandre “Mano” Polking’s team, operating tirelessly in Ho Chi Minh City’s engine room within the midfield as he scored five goals in nine games.

Other than his brief stint with Ho Chi Minh City, Lee’s 17-year long career saw him turning out for multiple MLS sides such as the New England Revolution, Los Angeles FC, and Inter Miami, as well as V.League 1 sides Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Becamex Binh Duong. Lee had also played for Randers in Denmark and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.

Lee announced his retirement from football in February of this year, opting to work as an assistant coach for women’s side Washington Spirit at the NWSL. However, his return to Ho Chi Minh City indicates that he still has some unfinished business at the Thong Nhat, or he might further his coaching career with the Red Battleship.

Underneath the stewardship of former Ba Ria-Vung Tau head coach Tran Minh Chien, Ho Chi Minh City are currently enduring a torrid season. The Red Battleship are currently 11th in the 13-team V.League 1, having won only two of their first nine games of the season so far and having recently ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over high-flying Hai Phong FC last Friday.