JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, January 22, 2010
After failed contract negotiations with MLS, Lee Nguyen has decided to return to the V-League and continue playing for Hoàng Anh Gia La, even though the midfielder's intentions were to come back to play in the United States.
"The contract that the league offered was just too low for anybody to really consider coming back to," Nguyen told Yanks-Abroad.
Because of MLS's single entity structure, players and agents negotiate with the league instead of specific teams.
"Obviously there were teams that were interested and [FC] Dallas was one in particular," said Nguyen.
FC Dallas was widely speculated to make a move for the Texas native, but because of failed negotiations with the league, a move to Pizza Hit Park did not occur.
The young midfielder had interest from many clubs in MLS. The New York Red Bulls had the first shot at signing Nguyen because of the MLS Allocation Order set up, though other teams could trade for their spot.
"So it kind of sucks on that end when a club wants you but they have no real power or say in it," said the 23-year-old American.
Coming out of high school, Nguyen was also once a target for MLS, but the Dallas native chose to enroll at Indiana University instead. After impressing at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships, the midfielder signed with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
After a stint with Randers FC of the Danish Superliga, Nguyen surprised many by signing with his current team, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai of Vietnam in 2009.
Nguyen and Hoàng Anh Gia Lai kick off the V-League season on January 31st against Khanh Hoa.