FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Lee Nguyen didn't take any verbal shots against his former team in the week leading up to Saturday's contest against the Whitecaps. Instead, he let his right foot to do the talking.
With two goals and an assist, Nguyen made a statement more powerful than words in the Revolution's 4-1 win over Vancouver at Gillette Stadium.
"I couldn't have dreamt it any better," Nguyen said. "I felt good in the warm-ups, and from there it carried onto the field."
But before Nguyen took center stage, he and his teammates had to shake off a rough start.
Five minutes into the match, Davide Chiumiento played it ahead to Sebastien Le Toux, who took it to the end line. With little space to work with, he sent it back into the box, where Eric Hassli met it, then sent it through for the opening goal.
"We worked all week on making sure we started off well, and we didn't," Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said. "That's disappointing, but at the same time, it woke us up a little bit."
It didn't take long for the Revolution to rub their eyes and get on their feet. In the 6th minute, Blake Brettschneider grabbed a Benny Feilhaber ball and fired a shot that deflected off a defender. But Nguyen collected the rebound and scored his first goal of the season.
That goal alone would have made it a night to remember for Nguyen. However, there would be more from the former Whitecaps midfielder as the game progressed.
In the 24th minute, Nguyen evaded three defenders before he played through to Saer Sene inside the box, where the French striker quickly put it through to put the Revolution on top.
"(There's) no one word to describe how he did on both sides of the ball," Revolution central midfielder Shalrie Joseph said. "He's just a good player on the ball. And defensively, he's been working to get under the defensive side of the ball and if he continues (it), the sky's the limit for him."
The Revolution padded their lead in the 33rd minute when Sene played it into the area, where it bounced around before Joseph put his foot on it and fired it past Joe Cannon for the two-goal lead.
Even though Vancouver -- who were playing their third game in eight days -- may have suffered from tired legs, they tried to get one back before the hour.
With a free kick from 30 yards, Alain Rochat hit hard toward goal and caught a deflection off the wall that nearly squired through before goalie Matt Reis reached to the left to keep it in front of him in the 57th minute.
Fifteen minutes later, Nguyen put the exclamation point on his evening. Off a Chris Tierney throw in, Nguyen took it with space in front of him. But instead of passing it along or taking the dribble, he shot it from 25 yards and put it in the upper 90 to cap the scoring in the 72nd minute.
"It was one of those (situations) where you're like 'let's keep it moving and pass it along,' " Tierney said. "As he was taking it, I was kind of like 'I don't know.' But it worked out. He can take them for the rest of the year as far as I'm concerned."
With a sensational night in the books, Heaps took his playmaker off in the 80th minute to a standing ovation from the 12,112 on hand for the inter-conference clash.
After the game, Heaps said he could tell that Nguyen wanted to make an impression against his former team.
"I think that Lee had a little something to show tonight," Heaps said. "But it was not against Martin Rennie, it was not against the organization. It was just one of those (situations) where (he) felt a little slighted and he showed it tonight."
Slighted or not, Nguyen refused to twist the knife against his former team afterward in the locker room. Instead, he said he was simply happy to help out the winning effort.
"I wouldn't say 'revenge,' " Nguyen said. "I'm just relieved. I'm just happy we got the win. I'm just glad for my teammates. We worked hard and we didn't give up after that first goal. It was a great win."
Brian O'Connell is covering the Revolution for ESPNBoston.com. He is the co-founder of New England Soccer Today (www.nesoccertoday.com), which covers professional soccer within New England. He can be reached at BOConnell21@aol.com.