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Photo Credit: Ben Solomon

New England Revolution

Revolution Upset Union In MLS Cup Playoffs

New England Revolution Upset Supporters Shield Winning Philadelphia Union In MLS Cup Playoffs Round One On The Road.

Number One seed on the road in 40-degree weather? No problem for the New England Revolution. On Tuesday night the Revolution defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-0 in round one of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. With the win, the Revs move onto the second round with a matchup with Orlando City SC on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. on ABC.

“Obviously, a very good performance against a team that had a great regular season,” said the winningest coach in American History Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena Undefeated here in their home stadium, so it’s a tremendous win and now we got to somehow recover and get our team ready to play Sunday.”

The ball doesn’t lie my friends. Shortly after a non-penalty and non-handball call, the Revolution pulled ahead 1-0. In the 26th minute, a free kick service from Carles Gil found the head of the lengthy striker Adam Buksa. New England continued their front foot domination of the Union with the maestro Gil setting up Tajon Buchanan. Buchanan for his part blasted a goal right over the head of “MLS Goalkeeper of the Year” Andre Blake in the 30th minute to make it 2-0.

New England carried this lead for the remainder of the match and even with the Union posting strong possession numbers in the second half their chances were a far cry from being real. All of Philly’s prime scoring chances were saved with ease by Matt Turner who might as well parked himself in a recliner and read a good book.

Revolution Finally Show True Colors And Pants Philly

The bottom line is the Revolution who vastly underperformed during the regular season when into the Supporters Shield Champions house and knocked them over with relative ease. 0-4-1 who?

“We know exactly what’s going on every game during the year,” said Arena. “The regular season this year was – I don’t even know what the right word is to describe it. I had said months ago that the teams who get in the playoffs, it’s going to look different because it’s such a crazy year. I think teams who had veteran players and most players returning and had an identity as a team were going to have an advantage during the regular season because of less practice time, the layoff, and all that kind of stuff. And then when playoff time comes around and other teams that are in it have a little more time together, they’ll challenge the teams that were very good during the regular season. You see that’s been the case. We didn’t give our guys a message about the last, whatever it was, five games we played them. We didn’t really care. We knew what they were about, and we knew what we needed to do.”

For Revolution fans, this is the team you have been waiting on all season long. With El Captain finally healthy the Revs attack is clicking and scoring at-will. And how about the striker Buksa continuing to score for the Revs? Earlier this season talking heads (not me, I wanted to give him more time) and fans alike called the young Designated Player out for a lack of performance. The 23-year-old had three goals in his final six regular-season matches and now has a playoff match winner under his belt.

Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena deserves credit for this win as well. He coached his team up to beat a team they lost four times to in the regular season. Arena made the 2020 Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Winner Jim Curtin look like an amateur coach on Tuesday night. Curtin and the Union were playing checkers while Arena and the Revs were playing Chess. Throughout the match, you could see the visual frustration from the Union players who lashed out time after time. Revs midfielder Matthew Polster was having none of the frustration with the former Rangers player being the enforcer of sorts for New England.

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One of the problems for the Revs in 2020 was their lack of a true 90-minute performance. Tuesday night might have been their first complete match since the 2019 season. For once, everything seemed to click.

“I think competing against them all season has been tough,” said Revs Forward Tajon Buchanan on defeating the Union for the first time in his career. “They definitely had the better hand on us, but at the end of the day everyone’s here to fight for a MLS championship and once you hit playoffs, it doesn’t matter what seed you are. These games are do or die. Today we won the more important game and we move on. Now we have another opportunity to go and play this weekend and keep fighting for a MLS Cup.”

Photo Credit: Ben Solomon

Revs Looking Ahead To Orlando

New England will take on Orlando on Sunday in round two of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Orlando finished the 2020 MLS season with an 11-4-8 record, 4th in the Eastern Conference. Last time out Orlando defeated NYCFC in penalties on 11/21. Oddly enough the Revolution did not face Orlando City SC during the 2020 MLS season. The last time the two teams faced off was 9/14/19 that resulted in a 3-3 draw at Orlando. The two teams have never met in the MLS Cup Playoffs. With the Revolution on the march, will the rest of New England pay attention? That is the question now.

“For sure,” said Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner on if Friday’s win over Montreal helped them start strong against Philly. “I think that, like I said, it helped us in the long run and now everybody has good vibes and good energy. But at the same time, it’s focusing on the task at hand. We’ve got to get ourselves ready to play against Orlando in a couple of days. Everybody is focused, we’ll spend the holidays together and away from our families. We’ll just keep the good vibes going over here and keep working hard and we’re playing with house money because everybody is sort of writing us off.”

Written By

Tanner founded Trifecta Sports in Spring of 2016 and has grown it from a blog into a multi-faceted media entity. He covers the New England Revolution, Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Cannons, New England Patriots, and the Providence College Friars.

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