If at the beginning of the 2021 season Revolution fans were told the team would clinch a playoff berth well before the end of the regular season, they would have been rather excited, but right now it seems like a mere formality that they made the playoffs.
New England secured a 3-2 win over the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night thanks to a stoppage time goal from Carles Gil. The MVP candidate put the team on his back and ensured that they walked away with three points.
With the win, the Revs now have 59 points in 27 games played. New England isn’t just having a great season, they are having one of the best in MLS history. They are on pace to break the single-season points record that was set by LAFC in 2019.
So while the Revolution were excited to make the playoffs, they weren't popping bottles in the locker room after Wednesday’s victory.
“For us, it’s like our job isn’t done,” said Teal Bunbury. “Our goal is always to make it into the playoffs, so it happening this soon is great. We’re excited and we’re happy, but we’re still thinking about things we could’ve done better in tonight’s game in Chicago. Taking the lead and then giving it away a couple times and not being clean enough, I think, on the ball, not winning enough tackles. So, there’s a lot of things we can work on but it’s positive. I mean, making the playoffs is always the goal but we have bigger aspirations.”
Besides making the playoffs, New England also broke a club record for wins in a season with 18, and also their 59 points are the most that they have ever had in a season. Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena said after the match that those aren’t the types of accomplishments he focuses on.
“I’m not that focused on those type of things,” he said. “Obviously, we’re pleased with the effort the team has given and the position we’re in. They are milestones, that’s great. I think we accomplished one of our objectives tonight, we qualified for the playoffs. So that’s official, which is great. Now we want to make sure we get homefield advantage. I think we’re pretty close to that. Then thirdly, we want to be the first seed in the Eastern Conference. So, we’re moving forward. Those are the things we want to achieve. As you indicated, currently we have a record with victories and points. That’s nice. That’s certainly an accomplishment that needs to be recognized. I need to applaud our players, obviously, number one. My staff is wonderful, and they deserve a lot of credit. Everything we do is about the team so that’s a great accomplishment for our team.”
Past Revolution fans might have been satisfied with just making the dance, but this club is different. Arena has instilled a winning attitude in each and every player.
So while this has been a fun season for the Revolution, there is still more work to be done.