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Jacob Jackson Makes MLS Debut
Jackson: “I was super excited, a little overwhelmed, anxious. But at the end of the day Omar [Gonzalez], [Matt] Polster, [Andrew] Farrell, all of those guys took care of me."
Jacob Jackson found out on Friday that he could make his MLS debut against Nashville SC. On Saturday, the 23-year-old got confirmation that he would be the man in goal.
As you can imagine, the news brought on a host of emotions.
“I was super excited, a little overwhelmed, anxious,” Jackson said. “But at the end of the day Omar [Gonzalez], [Matt] Polster, [Andrew] Farrell, all of those guys took care of me and said ‘it’s your opportunity. You deserve it. Just go out there, have fun. It’s just another game. Nothing’s going to happen. Just go out and enjoy it.’”
Interim head coach Clint Peay explained that the decision to change goalkeepers had less to do with incumbent Earl Edwards Jr. and more to do with Jackson.
“[Jackson] has been training hard, doing well,” Peay said. “We’ve been conceding goals so we wanted to change it up to give it a fresh face, to see if that would make a difference.”
“It wasn’t that Earl was playing poorly. We just felt like we wanted to change some things up to see if that could help the team.”
Jackson’s assignment was a difficult one as the New England Revolution were trying a new formation in a hostile atmosphere.
While the Revs ultimately lost 3-2, Jackson looked athletic and made seven saves.
Peay complimented his efforts, saying, “I thought he made a couple big saves and held the ball well when shots came at him. I thought he did a good job in terms of his first start on the road.”
Jackson hopes that Saturday is the first of many first team starts for him.
The young netminder missed the beginning of the 2023 season to recover from a successful surgery to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He then made 12 regular season appearances for Revs II, amassing a 1.5 goals against average.
Jackson views Saturday night as a “stepping stone” in his “hopefully long career.” It’s also an experience to learn from.
“I can learn a ton,” Jackson said. “I definitely have to look back at the three goals. I always take them very serious when I get scored on. I always think of myself being the first thing that I can change and the second would be trying to help my teammates if they did something wrong or I didn’t communicate well, so that’s definitely a learning point.”