Matt Polster: The Anchor of the New England Revolution Midfield
"You can see games like a [Open] Cup game where he’s not playing or in the roster, and you can just tell the difference in our midfield."
Matt Polster isn’t going to be lighting up the stat sheet when it comes to goals but he is still one of the more important players on the New England Revolution roster.
Polster’a ability to stop opponents in their tracks with a perfect tackle or winning a second ball helps keep the Revolution machine running smoothly and winning games. Even though he has had the occasional poor touch or commits a turnover, he has been a foundational part of New England’s midfield and an underrated player on the roster.
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The 29-year-old has already played more than 1,000 minutes in 12 starts for New England in 2023. Polster also has racked up 19 clearances, 18 interceptions, 15 tackles won, seven chances created, and an assist.
Along with Carles Gil and Brandon Bye, Polster left last week’s match against Inter Miami with an injury but according to head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena, the veteran midfielder is just fine.
“He’s been practicing. There’s no issues with him,” Arena said.
Polster’s impact goes far beyond his availability on the field. He is a mentor to younger players and leads by example in terms of being one of the first guys in the building.
Fellow veteran Ema Boateng talked about Polster’s importance ahead of Saturday’s match against the Chicago Fire.
“Matt [Polster] is great, he definitely anchors the midfield,” Boateng said. “You can see games like a [Open] Cup game where he’s not playing or in the roster, and you can just tell the difference in our midfield. He holds it down and is constantly communicating trying to organize everybody. He’s not afraid to get into tackles and off the field he’s just a great guy. He’s the first guy into the building every time with [Andrew] Farrell. He’s a great dude and sets a good example for everybody to follow. I think he’s a great teammate.”
With the likes of Gustavo Bou and Bye already being ruled out and the status of the Revolution captain up in the air, Polster’s importance is elevated. He will be looked upon to be a leader on the field and will play a crucial role in the starting XI.
So while it is easy to look at the likes of Djordje Petrovic and Gil, don’t forget about how important a player like Polster is to the success of New England.