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Revolution Eliminated in Penalty Shootout by New York City FC

December 1, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New England Revolution News Release

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Revolution (22-5-7; 73 pts.) were eliminated from MLS Cup contention with a penalty shootout loss to fourth-seeded New York City FC (14-11-9; 51 pts.) in the Eastern Conference Semifinal. The matched finished in a 2-2 draw after extra time, featuring goals from both sides in the overtime period following a 1-1 deadlock through 90 minutes, before New York City prevailed in the penalty shootout, 5-3.

The two teams traded goals in the opening minutes of the match, with Santiago Rodriguez firing New York City in front three minutes into the contest before the Revolution's leading scorer, Adam Buksa, headed home the equalizer in the ninth minute. Carles Gil provided an assist on Buksa's tally.

Gil added a second assist on Tajon Buchanan's equalizer late in extra time, giving him five career playoff assists to set a new club record. Buchanan tallied his second career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs goal in the 118th minute, equalizing for the hosts eight minutes after the Bronx Blues pulled ahead on a goal from Valentín Castellanos. Castellanos, the MLS Golden Boot winner, was sent off in the 113th minute after being shown a second yellow card.

New England's trio of Designated Players - Adam Buksa, Gustavo Bou, and Carles Gil - have factored into the last nine postseason goals for the Revolution, dating back to the start of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.

New England closes the 2021 campaign with a 22-6-7 record across both regular and postseason competition. The Revolution won the Supporters' Shield for the first time with an MLS-record 73 points, while setting club records for wins (22), fewest regular season losses (5), goals (65), and goal differential (plus-24).

POSTGAME NOTES: Eastern Conference Semifinal

New England Revolution 2 (3), New York City FC 2 (5)

November 30, 2021 - Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)

Team Notes:

The New England Revolution fell in a penalty shootout on Tuesday night to New York City FC, 2-2, with a 5-3 result for NYCFC in the penalty shootout.

New England has not lost at home in regulation or extra time of a playoff match since the 2002 MLS Cup final, a 14-game streak.

This marked the third consecutive playoff trip for the Revolution since 2019. The Revolution are 3-3-0 in the playoffs under Bruce Arena.

The Revolution's all-time record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 20-19-9.

Bruce Arena's Starting XI featured one change from New England's regular season finale vs. Inter Miami CF on Nov. 7, with forward Adam Buksa returning to the lineup, replacing Teal Bunbury.

Individual Notes:

Carles Gil, a finalist for the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Award and the 2021 MLS Comeback Player of the Year, recorded a pair of assists, giving him five helpers in six career playoff games to pass Lee Nguyen, Steve Ralston, and Jose Cancela (4) for the most postseason assists in club history.

Gil, who had a team-high six chances created, provided the primary assist on Adam Buksa's opening goal and a secondary assist on Tajon Buchanan's extra time equalizer. The Revs' captain also drew a team-high seven fouls.

Adam Buksa tallied his second career MLS Cup Playoffs goal, tying the match in the ninth minute with a header off a Carles Gil free kick. Buksa had a team-high two shots on target and won nine duels, including five aerials.

Tajon Buchanan scored his second career postseason goal, recording team highs in shots (5) and interceptions (4).

Emmanuel Boateng played six minutes, recording a game-tying assist on Buchanan's 118th minute strike. Boateng completed all eight of his passes in a short shift.

Matt Polster made his sixth career MLS Cup Playoffs appearance, playing 90 minutes to surpass 500 for his postseason career.

Andrew Farrell played all 120 minutes for New England, recording a team-high four tackles to go along with nine recoveries, seven duels won, and three clearances, .

DeJuan Jones recorded two key passes and led the team in passes completed (47), touches (101) and recoveries (14).


Referee: Drew Fischer.

Assistant Referees: Cory Rockwell (AR1); Jason White (AR2).

Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos.

Video Assistant Referee: Tim Ford.

Assistant VAR: Andrew Bigelow.

Attendance: 25,509

Weather: 34 degrees and cloudy.

Scoring Summary:

NYC - Santiago Rodriguez (Tayvon Gray, Jesus Medina) 3'

NE - Adam Buksa (Carles Gil) 9'

NYC - Valentin Castellanos (Gudmundur Thórarinsson) 110'

NE - Tajon Buchanan (Emmanuel Boateng, Carles Gil) 118'

Penalty Shootout:

NYC - Alfredo Morales - Goal

NE - Carles Gil - Goal

NYC - Thiago - Goal

NE - Adam Buksa - Saved

NYC - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi - Goal

NE - Teal Bunbury - Goal

NYC - Maxi Moralez - Goal

NE - DeJuan Jones - Goal

NYC - Alexander Callens - Goal

Misconduct Summary:

NYC - Valentín Castellanos (Yellow Card - Bad Foul) 19'

NE - Matt Polster (Yellow Card - Bad Foul) 27'

NE - Adam Buksa (Yellow Card - Bad Foul) 54'

NYC - Santiago Rodriguez (Yellow Card - Persistent Infringement) 58'

NYC - Alfredo Morales (Yellow Card - Bad Foul) 84'

NYC - Valentín Castellanos (Second Yellow Card - Bad Foul) 113'

New England Revolution: Matt Turner; DeJuan Jones, Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler (Emmanuel Boateng 114'), Brandon Bye; Matt Polster (Maciel 90'), Tommy McNamara (Arnór Traustason 90' [Teal Bunbury 114']), Tajon Buchanan, Carles Gil ©; Adam Buksa, Gustavo Bou.

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Jon Bell, A.J. DeLaGarza, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Justin Rennicks.

New York City FC: Sean Johnson ©; Tayvon Gray, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Malte Amundsen (Gudmundur Thórarinsson 101'); Alfredo Morales, James Sands (Tony Rocha 82'); Jesús Medina (Thiago 101'), Maximiliano Moralez, Santiago Rodríguez; Valentín Castellanos (Red Card 113').

Substitutes Not Used: Luis Barraza, Héber, Andres Jasson, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Gedion Zelalem, Talles Magno.

New England Revolution Team Statistics New York City FC

15 (4) Shots (on Target) 16 (4)

3 Blocked Shots 3

2 Saves 2

4 Corner Kicks 4

0 Offsides 2

22 Fouls 19

424 (76.7%) Passes Attempted (% Completed) 600 (80.2%)

42.7% Possession 57.3%

POSTGAME QUOTES: New England Revolution 2 (3) vs. New York City FC 2 (5)

New England Revolution Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the team being aggressive at the end of extra time in an attempt to score:

Coach Arena: "We fell behind a goal, obviously. We had to get a goal back, got it, and had a few chances at the end to win it in the second overtime. And then penalty kicks are penalty kicks. It can go either way, you know."

On the overall performance of the team:

Coach Arena: "I think it was a difficult game. I think the referee really struggled to take control of the game. There was a lot of fouling. I don't even know how many actually, but they did a good job disrupting us most of the night with fouls, which the referee for some reason wasn't real aware of the fact that Carles Gil got fouled probably 10 times in this game; and others, but that's not an excuse. We didn't play particularly well in the first half. Second half, I thought we played better. And the goal by [Tajon] Buchanan in overtime was a big goal. First half, [Adam] Buksa getting a goal after us falling asleep in the first three minutes of the game. Our center backs just dropped off and I think it was [Santiago Rodriguez] that scored. So, we didn't start the game off well and our intention was to start well. But give our guys credit, they came back and got that goal. And to get it into halftime, I thought was good given the fact that we didn't play particularly well. And I thought the second half was better. Both teams had chances, obviously. Overtime, give them credit, very good goal. Something we talked about all week, about the goal scorer [Valentin Castellanos] there, where he's going to be positioned a lot of the time, and we got caught on the back post. And then came back with a very good goal by Tajon [Buchanan]. And then at the end of regulation, had a chance to win the game. And then penalty kicks, you saw that. I think they obviously did an outstanding job. Matt [Turner] had a chance on probably two of those and fell short. Give them credit for the save. [Sean] Johnson did a good job on [Adam] Buksa."

On if he regrets waiting as long as he did to make substitutions:

Coach Arena: "No."

On what he said to the team in the locker room after the match:

Coach Arena: "I didn't say much. We'll get together on Thursday to discuss the year and our plans for next year."

On his summarization of the year as a whole:

Coach Arena: "Excellent year. That's what I would summarize the year as. We had an excellent year"

On if the long layoff affected the team at all:

Coach Arena: "Possibly a little bit. Certainly not an excuse."

On if this loss proves that it's difficult to win the Supporter's Shield and then go on to win the MLS Cup:

Coach Arena: "No."

On Tajon Buchanan's performance and his frustration due to not getting a few foul calls early on:

Coach Arena: "Well, I think they did a real good job against him. They ran a second player at him most of the night. He was a little frustrated, but he hung in there. And obviously, the goal in the overtime was huge. He's still a player that's relatively inexperienced, but I think he's got a great future."

On what it says about the Revolution to get to this point:

Coach Arena: "It was good. We had a very good year, and you could argue that maybe we played a little bit in over our heads. I think it was a good year. We don't have the best roster in the league. It's got to get a little bit better, for sure. But I think, if you look at the year on the whole, it was a really good year. Certainly, we would've liked to have won the MLS Cup, but you know, those things happen when you get into the postseason with single elimination. Then you go to penalties, and you position yourself for that, it's a crapshoot. Anyone can win. And give New York City credit for winning the shootout."

On if he still views this season as a success for the club, even though they fell short of winning the MLS Cup:

Coach Arena: "I think any sensible, reasonable person would say that. If you think otherwise, I think you need to have your head examined."

On how it feels to go out on a disappointing note like this:

Coach Arena: "Well, these things happen. One team walks off the field for tonight winning and one loses. You don't feel good about it, but that's the reality of the situation. I think our guys gave a great effort, as did our opponent. It was a very competitive game tonight and give New York City credit for winning it."

On his future and if he still has a desire to coach:

Coach Arena: "My future? I didn't think about it after the game ended, to be honest with you, but we'll see. We'll see what makes sense. Every day I coach is sort of a blessing. If it ends today, it ends today. It's not the end of the world. I'm really comfortable with the number of years I've been able to coach, and we'll see if it continues. We'll see what makes sense. We'll think about it a little bit, let the owners think about it a little bit, and then we all move forward."

Revolution Defender Andrew Farrell:

On how the match unfolded:

Farrell: "Obviously, congrats to New York City for advancing. I think they had a good first half. We tried to set up a lower line of pressure, because they like to play those long balls to tap into that space. So, it's hard to deal with [Valentin Castellanos] because he gets a running start, and then I think as the game went on, second half, we switched it up and went man-to-man. I think we got a little bit better pressure at that and got some turnovers. It's a tough game. New York City is a good team. Obviously, we were able to tie it and get into PKs and then obviously, unfortunate that we lost, but that's the game I guess."

On the emotions in the locker room after tonight's match:

Farrell: "I mean, not too much talking. We're all just disappointed. I think it's been a good year and it sucks to end this way. I think there were times where in the game, we could have been better. We had some good moments. Ema [Boateng] coming in, you know, getting that tying goal and kind of getting that feeling off the crowd and the pressure back on them, but obviously we wish we would have scored another one in extra time and then not to go to PKs, but that's part of the game I guess. You have to go to PKs and everybody's got a chance to win it and they took their chance as well. Unfortunately, after such a great season, it's kind of a little bit of a disappointment."

On the challenges of having the game decided by penalty kicks:

Farrell: "Yeah, I mean, that's the game that we play though. If you get one chance, two chances in the game and if you put them away, then that's why I think everybody loves the sport. It's just because you always have a chance. [If] you take your chances, you're able to win the game and you're elated and get to move on, and if you miss a couple chances, PKs it is. It's really 50-50 and we came out on the other side of the coin flip. It's devastating because so many guys put in such good effort throughout the year, and we had such a great year and the fans were great, but it's very disappointing. Very, very, very disappointing."

On whether he'll be able to look back on this year and appreciate what the team accomplished:

Farrell: "Yeah, I think we definitely appreciate the year. I think doing what we did was great, but you're always measured in the playoffs and we've seen it throughout the playoffs this year. Everybody's got a chance in a single-game elimination and you've got to be ready and I mean, I think we weren't ready at the beginning and they scored a goal, but we got back in it, and it's just tough. As I said, these are the emotions of the game. We had such a great year and so many guys, so many accolades and we weren't able to finish it, but we'll look back and obviously enjoy it, but it sucks a little bit."

On how the team will reflect on the end of the season:

Farrell: "Yeah, I think it'll be different for different guys. Everybody's different. Some guys will watch the game. Some guys won't watch the game. Some guys will go home. Some guys will stay around. Obviously, you feel the pain. Such a great season to build up. The momentum we had been able to maybe make a run at this kind of like we did last year, and top off what we did this year, but also just remember how to use this as momentum for next season, but the team's going to be different. Guys are going to move on. Tajon [Buchanan]'s going to move on, so you want to just enjoy the moments because this team is never going to be the same that it was this year. Enjoy the moments with the guys and get together, and then you know everybody's kind of going home I guess."

On the 23-day break between the regular season finale and tonight's match:

Farrell: "How the format is now, it's just tough, but I don't know, everybody's there throughout the season. It was a tough, tough season. You play three games in a week. Sometimes you play four games in 13 days, but then sometimes you get a little bit of a break and a bye week. It's part of the game. We were prepared enough to win this game. Obviously, the layoff sucked. We wish we were playing. Teams played twice before we got to play, but we're on the field. We got to make it happen and we gave ourselves a chance. We obviously didn't play the best, but we were in the game. We got a chance to score. We got a chance to make plays. Guys made plays. PKs suck, but as I said, that's part of the game and that's why we love it. We hate it. We go through all the emotions because you know, everybody's got a chance to win."

On playing in the Concacaf Champions league next year:

Farrell: "I think that's something that we're looking forward to. I mean, I haven't thought about that to be honest, but yeah, that's obviously great competition to be in and the team, it's going to be different than what it was. But yes, I'm going to be proud to be a part of that and to accomplish getting into that competition. And again, use this feeling of losing to motivate us for next year."

New England Revolution Midfielder Matt Polster

On the overall emotions after tonight:

Polster: "I think at the end of the day, it's disappointing. This kind of group, having the season we did, doesn't always replicate into playoffs. It's difficult. It's not the same type of games. We knew that, but it's just a disappointing result. We had expectations of going the whole way and winning the MLS Cup, and tonight just wasn't our night."

On what the team said afterwards:

Polster: "Not much was said. Some of the guys went over to [Matt] Turner and he's a little upset, because he wants to help the team win and save a couple penalties, but they were all good penalties. There's not much you can do when you hit a good penalty and even the best goalkeepers will not save them. So, it's not on him. It's on us as a group that we didn't get it done in the 90 minutes and then into extra time as well."

On the team's slow start:

Polster: "I don't want to make any excuses, that's for sure. I think obviously with a long break that doesn't help, but again, it is what it is. We knew that we're going to have a long break. We knew that we were going to need to come out fast tonight. We knew we were going to need to be aggressive, and we didn't get it done. So that's kind of the end of it."

On the physicality in tonight's game

Polster: "Obviously I can't comment on our referees here. It was aggressive, it kept staying aggressive because they didn't really give out too many cards. When Carles [Gil], the best player in the league right now, is getting fouled consistently, he's not getting rewarded for beating players or taking the ball, carrying the ball, and getting fouled. It's kind of upsetting, and it takes away from his ability and what he can bring to the game. So, that definitely hurt us tonight. It was an aggressive game on both sides. We fouled them just as much as they fouled."

On their momentum after the second goal:

Polster: "Of course they're down a man, we're feeling better, we're getting into the game. We knew there was added time on top of that at times, so we should have kept pushing and I think the boys did that. Obviously, once the game is finished, it's finished. Now you have to focus on penalties. There's different portions of the game that you have to focus on. You play 90 minutes, you try and get it done in that, you try and get it done extra time, and then it's penalties. They're all separate situations."

On their plan on limiting Valentin Castellanos:

Polster: "Obviously, they have a couple players that are key players for them. You know, [Maximiliano] Moralez and [Valentin] Castellanos. I thought [Andrew] Farrell and Henry [Kessler] did a really, really good job tonight of stopping him from being himself in moments, and they did a really excellent job in that. We just knew that if we could prevent those two players making more of an impact, we'd have a better chance. So that was our goal tonight."

Overall thoughts on the season:

Polster: "I think you want to remember the good parts. I think right now, it's tough to bring them up and think about them, but give it a couple of days. I think some of the boys will be happy with what they achieved and be able to carry that into next season and be even more hungry. I don't know if we'll beat the point record, but go for an MLS Cup, get into the playoffs and do something that we wanted to achieve this year, next year. I think we have that kind of team and that type of mentality. Just tonight wasn't our night."

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