Major League Soccer will conduct a weighted lottery to determine where former United States international Lee Nguyen will play, a league spokesman said. Nguyen's signing was announced on Dec. 6, with the league saying that he was on a "multi-year" deal.
It was not immediately clear why Nguyen would be allocated via weighted lottery, as opposed to going through the allocation order. Generally speaking, current and former U.S. internationals go through allocation. In the lottery, interested teams are assigned a percentage chance of winning Nguyen's services based on their most recent 30 matches with worse teams being given a better chance. The winner is then selected by blind draw based on those chances.
The weighted lottery is almost always reserved for young players who are signing their first MLS contract. David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Cody Arnoux (Real Salt Lake), Chris Agorsor (Philadelphia Union), Korey Veeder (Columbus Crew) and Sonny Saad (Sporting Kansas City) all went through the lottery in 2011. Bingham was the highest paid of those players, and he made $99,500 in total compensation. Bingham was also a late-signing Generation Adidas player.
Using those players as a benchmark, that would suggest that Nguyen could be available for less than $100,000. Although Nguyen has never played in MLS, he was born in Dallas and played collegiately at Indiana, where he scored five goals and had 12 assists during his freshman season. That caught the interest of PSV Eindhoven, who lured him there with his first professional contract. After spending three seasons, and rarely playing, with the Dutch power, he eventually found his way to Vietnam. There he became the highest paid professional athlete in the country.
Along the way, Nguyen managed to make three appearances with the U.S. national team. His two most recent appearances came during the 2007 Copa America, in which then coach Bob Bradley was roundly criticized for bringing a team that was considerably less than the top choice.
Nguyen is essentially an offensive-minded wide midfielder. There's reason to believe he could compete for a starting spot with most teams, but he would hardly be a sure thing.