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Scott Caldwell gets long awaited first start of 2021 season

The human victory cigar finally found his way into the starting XI

SOCCER: AUG 21 MLS - FC Cincinnati at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When Scott Caldwell comes on the field for the New England Revolution in 2021, there’s usually one reason why.

Caldwell has taken on the role of a closer serving as a defensive midfield option who can come into games and lock down wins. Primarily coming off the bench, New England is now 8-0-0 when Caldwell makes an appearance in a match. He’s the Revs version of Jonathan Papelbon (or Mariano Rivera for this Yankees fan).

This is quite surprising seeing how much of a role Caldwell had etched out in 2020. Prior to finally making the starting XI on Saturday, Caldwell’s last start was in the Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Columbus Crew.

But with Polster still out due to an injury, New England’s depth was tested. After a subpar performance from Maciel and Wilfrid Kaptoum in Wednesday’s win over D.C. United, Caldwell got the nod in Saturday’s starting XI.

The 30-year-old tallied 43 touches, four recoveries, and completed 79 percent of his passes in 62 minutes played. As always, Caldwell was Mr.reliable and was a calming presence in the midfield.

With Polster out, Caldwell is the closest thing that New England has to him. While Caldwell might not be as talented, he can do Polster’s job.

After the game, Caldwell said that it felt great to get the start.

He said, “I was excited, happy, and our team did a great job, so I was pleased.”

Bruce Arena also seemed pleased with the midfielder’s performance.

“Good, solid job,” said Arena. “And again, with the limited minutes he had, we didn’t project that he was going to play a whole lot more. I think he did a good, solid job.”

Now New England gets a slight break as their next matchup isn’t until Saturday against NYCFC. Every Revolution player will be cheering on their teammates who made it to the MLS All-Star Game as they take on Liga MX’s All-Stars on Wednesday.