One thing is clear after New England’s latest matchup against the Philadelphia Union, the two teams don’t exactly like each other.
There were numerous occasions in Saturday’s matchup where tempers flared. Whether that be Carles Gil getting upset after being fouled or Henry Kessler both kicking and throwing a ball into the stratosphere which led to him being chased down the tunnel at the end of the match.
New England has faced Philadelphia three times this season and it seems like the pot is starting to boil. The Revs faced the Union a whole bunch last season as a restricted schedule due to COVID-19 meant that teams faced a small number of opponents multiple times.
Whether you want to call it the Liberty Rivalry or the I-95 Derby, it sure seems like a rivalry is brewing. After the match multiple Revolution players were asked if they think a rivalry exists and the answer seems clear.
“Yeah, I think there always has been,” said Brandon Bye. “They know us, we know them. We’ve played each other plenty of times over the last couple years, so there’s always some sort of rivalry. But at the end of the day, we got the win and that’s all we’re really worried about.”
Bye wasn’t the only player to say that a rivalry exists, Matt Polster also believes that the two clubs share a dislike of one another.
“Sure, I think last year we played them, I don’t know, six times,” said Polster. “They had the better of us last year in five of those six games. We beat them in the playoffs. We were going to get them at one point and for them it kind of sucked that it was in the playoffs, and then it kind of gave us that ride into the Eastern Conference finals. Then this year, we’ve shown that – I thought the first time we were here, we should’ve had three points to begin with. I think we were wrongly done in that situation. Then to go home, get three points and then again come away in a hostile environment, get three points, we’ve shown that we want to compete in a high level. Philly is a good team and you have to win tough games. This was a tough game tonight.”
With New England not facing the Union again this season, the only way the two clubs could meet is in the playoffs. If emotions were high already, imagine what they will look like when the two sides are competing to reach the MLS Cup final.