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Bruce Arena likes Luis Caicedo’s “aggressive” play

Caicedo steps in for Polster at haltime.

MLS: New England Revolution at CF Montreal David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Bruce Arena was happy with Luis Caicedo’s performance after he replaced Matt Polster at halftime of Wednesday’s game against D.C. United.

Polster received a yellow card in the 42nd minute when he pulled down an advancing D.C. attacker. The fear of a second card prompted Arena to switch out his defensive midfielders.

“I thought [Polster] had a sluggish first half,” Arena said. “He didn’t look very sharp today. He was a step slow and we couldn’t afford him getting sent off. So, it was important that we got him off the field and had a fresher play at half.”

Caicedo entered the game, marking his third appearance of the season. The 25-year-old has spent most of the past two seasons on the sidelines dealing with injuries.

He now appears to be fully healthy as he completed 90% of his passes and contributed three tackles against D.C. Arena thought that Caicedo brought “some bite to the midfield.”

“Luis is an aggressive player,” Arena commented. “He can get around the ball. He won some tackles and he got it off his feet quickly to our front runners, so he did a good job there.”

With Polster unavailable to play on Sunday due to yellow card suspension, Caicedo could be in line for more minutes when the Revs travel to Orlando. If he does see the field, it would be another positive moment for a well-liked player who has faced adversity recently.

“We are very happy for him,” Carles Gil noted. “He had a difficult moment with the knee, and he worked very hard. We are very happy with him. He’s a very good player. He did an amazing job today. It was a difficult game, and he did amazing. We have one more player, a top player, and we’re very happy for him.”