Revolution Competes in Conference Semifinals


(Photo/Charles Krupa)

The New England Revolution won the majority of their 2021 league games, with a record of 22-7-5, placing them in the playoffs for the Major League Soccer conference. They had the best playing record of the league, awarding them the Supporters’ Shield, which indicates that they had the most points out of all the teams in the MLS. This was their first time winning the award. They looked to take the championship for the first time in the team’s history.

Since January of 2021, the Revolution made a few crucial changes to the roster to help ensure their claim of season. They added a forward named Emmanuel Boateng to the team, a free agent from Columbus Crew. They recruited A.J. DeLaGarza, a free agent defender from Inter Miami, as well as Arnor Traustason, a transfer forward from Malmo FF. They also recruited two players from their Revolution II team, the backup team of substitutes. Maciel and Jon Bell stepped onto the team as new roster members as midfield and defenders. 

The Revolution played their first playoff match on Nov. 30 against New York City Football Club, the first place seed versus the fourth. The game started off with quick goals, both teams scoring early on to make the score 1-1 in the first half. Santiago Rodriguez scored for NYCFC in the third minute, a shot into the top left corner past the goalie Matt Turner. The Revolution followed with a goal in the ninth minute from Adam Buska, a header goal into the bottom left side of the net. They continued to battle for the rest of the match, fighting to maintain possession of the ball, finishing as 1-1 and causing the game to go into overtime.

Shortly into overtime, NYCFC was able to score for a second time. Valentin Castellano finished a cross with a header, giving New York a 2-1 lead in the 109th minute. Four minutes after his goal, Castellano received his second yellow card of the match, causing him to be sent off the field and forcing New York to play with ten men instead of eleven. They lost another player to a leg injury, right defender Tayvon Gray was unable to continue playing and got taken off the field. Because of New York’s lack of substitutes, they played the rest of overtime with nine players versus New England’s eleven. This helped the Revolution to make a crucial comeback, as Tajon Buchanon finished a volley into the back of the net in the 118th minute, tying up the match. Overtime ended as 2-2, sending the game into penalty kicks. 

NYCFC scored all five of their penalties, while the Revolution was only able to complete four. Buska’s goal was saved by New York’s goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Alexander Collins drilled the final shot for New York past Turner, finalizing the game as a 3-2 loss for the New England Revolution. NYCFC will move on in the playoffs to play the Philadelphia Union on Dec. 5.

(Photo/David Butler)