Ema Boateng hasn’t received a ton of playing time for the New England Revolution, but he has definitely made the most of the opportunities he has received.
Boateng has started three games this season and has over 250 minutes played for the Revs in 2021. Coming off the bench, the MLS veteran has been able to turn games on their head after entering the match.
The 27-year-old continued to impress on Saturday night tying the game with his second goal of the season in the 21st minute. It gave New England life and was a crucial part of the Revs walking away with three points on Saturday.
Bruce Arena talked about Boateng’s performance after the match.
“He hasn’t played that much, but he has, over the last month, been able to contribute,” said Arena. “Obviously, the goal tonight was a big goal. He hasn’t played that much, so we’re careful with his minutes.”
It was interesting to see Boateng end up leaving the match at halftime. He was performing well but Arena decided to take him out. According to the coach, that was the plan all along.
“We were bringing Carles [Gil] in at halftime and someone had to come out,” Arena said. “And out of the midfield, it was either going to be Wilfrid [Kaptoum] or Ema [Emmanuel Boateng] and I thought Wilfrid was a little bit fresher. But Ema’s doing a good job and hopefully he can continue to move forward in an important time of the year as we close out the season and have the playoffs.”
With Boateng continuing to play well, he seems deserving of more minutes. Arnor Traustason’s latest expulsion must have him in Arena’s dog house. Boateng has proven to be much more reliable of a player.
Matt Polster was also asked about Boateng’s performance and he believes that the winger has made the most of his opportunity.
“At the beginning of the season, I think he did really well in preseason,” said Polster. “He never really got his opportunity. But then when the season went on, guys are going to have to step up in certain moments and help this team win games. He’s the kind of guy that can do for us. He’s shown that he can create things off the dribble, crossing the ball, finishing. So, he’s someone that you can rely on and we’re definitely going to need him towards the end of the season as well.”
So it will be interesting to see how long Boateng can keep up this level of play but he has yet to let the Revolution down this season.