Beswicks Sports duo poised for MLS Playoffs
Now the MLS regular season has drawn to a close, the Playoffs get underway this week, with some huge matches on the horizon. Two of the league’s best players will be eagerly awaiting the crunch end of the season; Beswicks duo Matt Polster and Jack Price.
After a thrilling season, Matt’s New England Revolution secured their first ever Eastern Conference title by breaking the record for the highest single-season points total in history with 73.
Meanwhile, Jack’s Colorado Rapids topped the Western Conference, pipping Seattle Sounders to top spot on the final day of the regular season.
As well as earning a bye in the first round of the playoffs, both players’ teams qualified automatically for the next Concacaf Champions League due to topping their respective Conference, providing them with an opportunity to prove themselves on the continental stage.
Matt, who returned to the MLS in 2020 after a two-year spell with Scottish side Rangers, played a huge part in Revolution’s march to the title, playing in 30 of their 34 matches.
The 28-year-old was pivotal to New England’s dream season, during which they won 22 of their 34 matches to win the title by a total of 19 points and leave their closest rivals in their wake.
Matt managed a staggering 90.1% pass accuracy over the course of the season, a statistic that reiterates just how impressive and influential he was in the middle of the park.
“I’m incredibly proud of the season I’ve had but it would not have been possible without this group of players,” said Polster.
“Each and everyone of them has shown great character throughout. We’ve come back strongly after defeats, won a lot of games and scored a lot of goals.
“But we also know that it’s not done yet. We are fully focussed on the aim of finishing the season strongly in the playoffs.
“We know New York City are tough playoff opposition but we’ve beaten them in two of three regular season matches so we are confident we can get the job done.”
He also scored in New England’s crucial 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Union, who eventually finished as runners-up in the Eastern Conference.
New England topped the table from day one and led for its entirety, with a 5-0 victory away at Inter Miami and a 3-2 victory over title challengers New York City FC particular highlights.
Matt had previously spent four years in MLS with Chicago Fire, and an 18-month spell at Ibrox which saw him play in the Scottish Premiership and Europa League.
He returned to his homeland in July 2020 to sign with New England and has since gone from strength to strength.
Despite arriving partway through the season, the one-time USA international quickly became a regular for the Revs and backed up a progressive first year with the club’s maiden Conference title in his first full campaign with the Greater Boston side.
“I’m loving my time here and I feel that my football is showing that,” added Polster.
“Hopefully winning the Eastern Conference is just the start and that we can add another trophy to the cabinet.”
Jack captained Colorado to their first ever Western Conference title, as victory on the final day was enough to secure the number one spot in the Western Conference.
The triumph topped off a superb season for the Rapids who amassed a club record points tally of 61 thanks to a remarkable 17 wins and ten draws.
“I’m buzzing about captaining the team to the Western Conference – it’s a great achievement for everyone associated with the Rapids,” said Price.
“But it won’t feel as sweet if we don’t win the MLS Cup at the end of the season. That’s the main goal for myself and the rest of the team.”
Captain Jack was a mainstay in the middle of the park for the Rapids, amassing a staggering total of 1,620 completed passes, with an accuracy rate 28 of 89.9%.
“Jack is a great captain because he leads by example,” his manager, Robin Fraser, said about the midfielder, whose tally of 12 assists this term made him the first Rapids player to reach that tally in more than a decade.
These superb numbers and top performances saw Jack be named as the club’s MVP for the fourth year in row. A truly remarkable achievement we’re all so proud of here at Beswicks Sports.
The 28-year-old was also involved in the club’s final day match against LAFC, when a 5-2 victory was enough to secure the title.
Jack was born in Shrewsbury, England, and began his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers, for whom he made more than 100 appearances in all competitions.
In 2018, Beswicks helped him make the move to the U.S and he has since gone on to surpass the century of matches in MLS.
“It was a big step moving from England to United States but I’m loving every single minute of it,” added Price.
“The people of Colorado and everyone associated with the Rapids have all played a huge part in that and I just want to help deliver them the MLS Cup.
“The way we setup makes us hard to beat and we need to continue that in the playoffs.”
Jack and Matt have both been instrumental so far this season but, with the playoffs and next season’s Concacaf Champions League to look forward to, Matt and Jack have further opportunities to create history for their respective clubs.
Jack and Colorado will enter the playoff action against Portland Timbers on November 25th, while Matt and Revolution’s first game will be on November 30th against New York City FC.
We at Beswicks Sports wish them both the best of luck in what promises to be a fiercely competitive but exciting playoff competition.