HCMC FC persistence pays off, sign up US midfielder

By Dang Khoa   December 17, 2020 | 11:00 pm PT
HCMC FC persistence pays off, sign up US midfielder
Inter Miami CF's midfielder Lee Nguyen during a friendly match with Philadelphia Union at St. Petersburg, FLorida, February 2020. Photo courtesy of Inter Miami CF Facebook page.
Vietnamese-American midfielder Lee Nguyen has signed a one-year deal with Ho Chi Minh City FC and will play as a domestic player for them in 2021.

The club management team confirmed the news on Friday.

He is expected to arrive in Vietnam on December 28 and go into mandatory quarantine.

The value of the contract has not been disclosed.

He will not be treated as a foreign player in next season's top-flight division V. League 1, scheduled to kick off on January 16, since he has a Vietnamese nationality.

HCMC FC have been trying to recruit the 34-year-old midfield star since February, agreeing to pay $1 million, from Inter Miami CF, owned by English star David Beckham, but their offer was initially rejected by the U.S. club.

Nguyen played for Hoang Anh Gia Lai (2009-10) and Becamex Binh Duong (2010-11), and was rated highly despite having some trouble adapting to the football environment in Vietnam.

He then returned to the U.S., and was called up for the national team nine times by coach Jürgen Klinsmann.

HCMC also signed Brazilian striker Wagner da Silva Souza from Guarani FC earlier this month, also on a one-year contract.

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