The New England Revolution still have it all to play for this weekend on decision day. Clint Peay’s side will host welcome the Philadelphia Union to Gillette Stadium with both teams capable of moving around in the standings. If things go the way of the Revs then they can secure a home berth in the playoffs.
How will Jacob Jackson fare on Decision Day?
Jacob Jackson to Start Against the Union
Tomas Vaclik is yet to make his debut for the Revolution and was absent from the gameday squad in the last outing. Earl Edwards Jnr meanwhile watched on from the sidelines as Jacob Jackson made his debut for the first-team. Peay has offered his support for the youngster ahead of the Philly clash, saying the following.
“We’ll continue with Jacob Jackson on the weekend. I think he’s done well again. I think for every position it’s a battle, and I think Jacob has earned the right to be back on the field.”
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) October 16, 2023
Another position of interest is at centre-back with Henry Kessler having recently returned to the fold. He made an appearance off the bench in the 3-2 loss away at Orlando City and he then made his first start since April in the defeat to Nashville last weekend.
The USMNT international has been away from the home fans for a while now and so is excited to return to the turf. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since I’ve played in front of our fans, so I’m really looking forward to it. I love playing at Gillette. I think it’s great to be in our own home atmosphere.”
The Need for Momentum Ahead of the Playoffs
New England have lost their last three games, conceding eight goals in the process. When facing Orlando and Nashville, they conceded three times in the first half on both occasions. Looking deeper than that and as well as scoring in nine of the last 10 outings, they’ve shipped at least one goal in nine of the last 10 as well.
When asked about their struggles at the back, Kessler had this to say. “I think there are a lot of reasons. I think individual mistakes. I think that collectively we need to do better as well. So I think there are a few reasons and we’re looking to correct those.”
— Henry Kessler (@HenryKessler4) October 12, 2023
Losing three games on the spin is far from ideal with the playoffs right around the corner and so the clash with the Union is a chance to build up some momentum. On the need to enter the post-season on a high, Peay said this.
“First and foremost, it’s just the feeling. You get a result, and you’re at home, you go into the playoffs feeling a lot better about yourself. For me, it’s critical, but also just knowing that we are playing a full 90 minutes, and not 45 minutes. Putting a full game together on both sides of the ball where we are hard to play against and pose challenges for the opponent.”
It promises to be an interesting encounter between two of the better sides in the Eastern Conference and there is still plenty to play for on decision day.
Featured image credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports, Sep 16, 2023.