Matt Polster might have been born in Wisconsin but it’s clear he is at home with the New England Revolution.
Polster signed a three-year contract extension on Thursday that will keep him with the Revolution throughout the 2025 season. The move to acquire Polster from Rangers was a win-win for both the player and the club.
“I think, for me, like you said, I wanted to be part of a group that wants to win, get more playing time, and those two things I feel like I’ve ticked the box on,” Polster said of his extension to Jeff Lemieux. “I think, for me, I still – and I know for this group and the staff – they want to win an MLS Cup and that’s the goal. That’s always the goal as players in this league. So, for me, that’s what we’re going to strive for this year and in the years that I’ve extended, which I’m super happy about. My parents are proud of me, my family’s proud of me, my wife’s happy to be here, so it’s all in all a good situation for me and I couldn’t be happier.”
While it might seem hard to believe with how well he has played in New England, Polster wasn’t getting a ton of playing time over in Scotland. Playing right back, Polster only made 10 appearances for Rangers including six in the Scottish Premiership.
Polster spoke to the media on Monday about why his time with the Revs has been successful compared to his time with Rangers.
“I think they are two different situations,” he said. “When I went over to Rangers, the expectation and the goal was to compete with [James] Tavernier, the right back and the club captain, and it was a task that I did to the best of my ability, but he’s an incredible player. He’s an incredible captain and leader of that group, and he doesn’t really miss any games, so it was a tough task. He’s been arguably one of the best right backs in the world, so to compete with that was difficult. Here, I was more suited to play the six role, which is what I did in Chicago, so I feel most comfortable in that position where I’m able to run around and be able to make tackles and play the ball forward as quickly as possible, and that’s what’s made this situation the best for me and for my family.”
Tavernier has been with Rangers since 2015 and has made 355 appearances and recorded 86 goals and 109 assists. In this current season, Tavernier already has two goals and an assist in four appearances.
At the six, Polster has been a crucial part of New England’s defensive efforts. He has been a part of the Revs last line and has done a great job stifling opponents attacking efforts.
Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena noted that it’s tough to draw a lot of conclusions from Polster’s time in Europe but the midfielder has continued to improve since coming to New England.
“Well, he was only in Scotland for a year, if that, right? I don’t even know exactly because we got him mid-year, so I think he was only there a year, so you can’t come to any great conclusions there,” Arena said. “But obviously, coming back here, it did take him a little bit of time to get adjusted being back in MLS and playing a relatively new position. His position with Rangers was as a right back and he played a number of games as a right back for the Chicago Fire as well, so his initial year was coming back and adjusting to the league again and playing a somewhat new position. And we saw last year, after having that year under his belt, he was better and this year, he continues to grow as a player. So, it’s been a real positive for him.”
Whether it be changing positions or welcoming a baby girl into his life, Polster has experienced a lot since coming to New England. He got to lift a trophy in 2021 while also feeling the sting of getting knocked out of the playoffs by NYCFC in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
But Polster is now rooted in New England and Revolution fans couldn’t be happier to know that he is staying around for the extended future.