Matt Polster has been one of the unsung heroes for the New England Revolution.
That’s just the life of a defensive midfielder. You do all the hard work and get none of the shine.
While Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa, and Tajon Buchanan are lighting up social media with their skills, Polster might not get the same love. Everyone loves goal scorers but what about the guy who makes a key tackle or interception?
Beyond his great defensive efforts, Polster has also found some success against a particular foe. The 28-year-old has scored two goals in the last two matches against the Philadelphia Union.
The latest goal came off a beautiful set piece and epitomized who Polster is as a player. He drove towards the back post and was able to slide the ball into the net to give New England the lead. He put his body on the line and appeared to collide with the post in his effort to score.
The midfielder talked about the goal after the game.
“It’s pretty much a standard set piece for us,” he said. “We all have our individual runs. I just tried to beat my man, tried to get to the back post. Arnór [Traustason] puts in a really good cross and I just get in behind the defense and get a goal, so that was nice. I think we’re all banged up after that game. Everybody’s sliding around, winning tackles. We just showed a lot of character tonight.”
This goal was impressive in the fact that New England has struggled on set pieces since Gil’s absence. Players such as Ema Boateng, Tommy McNamara, Bou, and Traustason had taken turns dealing with the duties.
Polster talked about how the team works on set pieces and how players have stepped up with the absence of key players throughout the season.
“Yeah, we worked on those in training,” the midfielder said. “I think, obviously, we rely on Carles to do most of the set pieces, but I think throughout the year, players have stepped up in moments for us regardless of the situation. Set-piece takers or guys to come in and play that haven’t had a lot of minutes, come in and do really well. I thought Ema [Boateng] for a stretch there was playing really, really well. We need guys like that to step up in certain moments for us. Teal [Bunbury] played really well. We have guys that can come in and do a really good job for this group and help us get three points. We can rely on the entire team and that’s what it’s going to take to win something this year.”
So Polster definitely deserves some love after his performance against the Union. It doesn’t matter if he is scoring goals or just playing quality defense, the Revs would be struggling without him on the pitch.