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Jacob Jackson Earns 1st MLS Win
“Getting my first one, playing on the first team, it’s an exciting experience."
New England Revolution goalkeeper Jacob Jackson earned his first MLS win on Saturday but the night got off to a dreadful start but the 2022 SuperDraft selection didn’t let one moment define his performance.
16 minutes into the match, the Philadelphia Union launched a long ball over the top of New England’s back line and a miscommunication between Jackson and defender Dave Romney saw a scramble ensue. Jackson tried to get his hands on the ball but failed with Philadelphia eventually finding the back of the net.
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But there was a lot more soccer to play. The 23-year-old ended the night with two saves and was able to help New England pick up three points.
When reflecting on the victory, Jackson showed some maturity and admitted that the goal was his fault.
“It was awesome,” Jackson said of the win. “Getting my first one, playing on the first team, it’s an exciting experience. I think it's also a learning moment. I definitely contributed to getting scored on. I think I can look back on that and look about how I spoke to [Dave] Romney. He couldn't hear me, and I think that's on me. As the goalie, you've got to be loud and command everything. So, I take blame for the goal. But again, learning experience, move on, and now look to try to push forward in playoffs.”
The mistake could have seen Jackson fold and put in a mediocre performance for the rest of the match but that wasn’t the case. He responded like a veteran and earned some praise for doing so by interim head coach Clint Peay.
“Obviously, a difficult moment. I don’t know exactly what happened, but there was a little lack of communication between him and Dave Romney,” Peay stated. “For a young guy, it could have gone bad, and I think he responded. [He had] great confidence with the ball at his feet, and had a couple of shots at him that he held really well. I thought he showed really good poise and maturity.”
Jackson’s first win will be an achievement that he will always cherish. Considering that Djordje Petrovic started the season in net for New England, he likely didn’t imagine that he would get the opportunity to record his first start never mind his first win.
Veteran midfielder Tommy McNamara was happy to see the youngster help secure the victory. While coming from two different eras of MLS, McNamara pointed to their similarities in regards to dealing with a long absence due to injury.
“Yeah, a big congratulations to him,” McNamara said after the match. “He has been good. Same thing, he got hurt last year with a long-term injury but to see his mentality and how he went after the rehab, how professional he was about getting back and getting to a really good level, that was really good to see. Once he got back into the group, you know, we got to see him express himself some more. He's a good goalkeeper and he's so young, which is great for him.”
It remains unseen who will be the starting goalkeeper in the playoffs but Jackson hasn’t made Peay’s decision easy. While he is excited about getting his first MLS win, his first playoff win would be even sweeter.