New England Revolution fiery midfielder Matt Polster doesn’t intend to go meekly into the offseason.
The Revolution face elimination from the MLS Cup playoffs once they host the Philadelphia Union within the second recreation of a best-of-three Round One collection on Wednesday evening (7) at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution shall be taking part in the fiftieth MLS Cup playoff recreation in membership historical past.
The No. 4 seed Union delivered a 3-1 beatdown on the No. 5 Revolution within the collection opener on Oct. 28 at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa. If the Revolution can pressure a 3rd recreation, it could be performed at Subaru Park on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Polster is assured the membership can regroup and produce the present again to Philly and he has a superb motive to really feel that manner. The Revolution posted a 12-1-4 document at Gillette, together with a 2-1 victory over the Union within the common season finale on Oct. 21.
“It comes from being confident,” mentioned Polster. “You don’t need to go right into a recreation nervous when it comes to second guessing your self. It’s simply being assured as a bunch and people, figuring out that we’re able to taking part in at a excessive degree and never simply individually however as a bunch.
“I don’t think we should go in with the nerves. I think we should go in playing with confidence and on the front foot. We really have nothing to lose.”
The Revolution had an 11-day break to scrutinize what went incorrect in Philly and work on correcting their apparent first half blunders, particularly on the backend.
The Revolution endured a three-goal Philly blitz within the first half and misplaced playmaker Carles Gil to a leg harm on a focused foul within the twenty second minute. Gustavo Bou scored a second half purpose, however the Revolution’s assault was rudderless with out Gil working his ball magic within the middle midfield.
“We do need to protect him (Gil) as a team and as an organization,” mentioned Polster. “It’s not been the primary occasion the place he’s been focused on the sphere and brought out of video games.
“We need to target their players to an extent. Obviously not to hurt them like what happened to Carles, but to protect him and make sure it’s not OK to keep hitting our players.”
Revolution interim head coach Clint Peay mentioned Gil, middle again Henry Kessler and midfielder Ian Harkes shall be accessible for Game 2.
Polster is a flexible midfielder who was pressed into service on the again line late within the season attributable to accidents and worldwide callups. Polster’s specialty is breaking apart performs earlier than they develop and he leads all MLS midfielders with 158 interceptions since becoming a member of the membership in August 2020.
Polster will play a giant position in containing the Union’s dynamic Big 3 of forwards Julian Carranza and Mikael Uhre, and midfielder Daniel Gazdag. The troika have mixed for 37 targets, 21 assists and 84 photographs on course in 34 video games this season. Gazdag (penalty kick) and Uhre scored targets within the first playoff recreation.
“They’re a hard-nosed team who are going to work for each other,” mentioned Polster. “You can inform their entrance three don’t quit, they’re at all times urgent and again urgent.
“That’s their identity and we need to go into this next game and be a little more forceful from our side of things. Put them under pressure, make good challenges and be on the front foot.”
Keeper Jacob Jackson began the primary playoff recreation with combined outcomes. He regarded shaky and was caught out of place on a number of performs within the first half however made up for it with some good stops within the second.
Peay wouldn’t decide to beginning Jackson or going with veteran Earl Edwards Jr., who was 3-4-3 in 10 begins with 1.50 targets towards common and one shutout.
“We’ll roll a goalkeeper out and whoever it is will be ready to go on Wednesday,” mentioned Peay.
The Revolution may benefit from an motion taken by the Union towards considered one of its personal Tuesday. The crew issued a three-game suspension efficient instantly to defender Kai Wagner for violating the league’s on-field antidiscrimination coverage. The incident happened within the first playoff recreation towards the Revolution. Wagner acknowledged his inappropriate conduct whereas cooperating with a league investigation.