The New England Revolution just concluded the most successful regular-season in MLS history, amassing a league-record 73 points in the 2021 campaign. The team earned a first-round bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs, and finally return to the pitch for their first playoff match Tuesday at home against NYCFC.
After a 23-day break from play, the Revs are back in action with their eyes set on the MLS Cup. While three weeks is a long time to go between matches, the team is confident that it will not be an issue.
"It's not a problem. We can’t use it as an excuse. Obviously, it would be better to play every week to the playoff game, but I think we dealt with that problem pretty well. We had some inter-squad games, and we're fully ready to step on the field and win," striker Adam Buksa said.
"So I don't want to even talk about that. I would treat it only as an excuse in case we lost, but that's not going to be the case. It’s not going to affect our game.”
Buksa spent those 23 days rehabbing a foot injury, which will not be keeping him out of the NYCFC match. Buksa missed the team’s regular season finale against Inter Miami as well as the Polish national team’s World Cup qualifying matches in the November international break.
"I'm ready. I'm ready for tomorrow. Ready for 100 percent," Buksa said." There is no doubt about that, and it was a good time of preparation, I would say, because I work hard on my physicality. I work a lot with physical therapists, so a little bit different style of training.
"I had to let my foot rest a little bit, but that doesn't mean that I was out. I was just trying a different way. Now I'm back on the field.”
After an unprecedented regular season, all eyes are on the Revs as they look to claim the club’s first ever MLS Cup.
With such a high bar comes high expectations and even higher pressure. The Revolution are ready for the challenge that the postseason presents, regardless of the pressure.
Before the team can focus on a championship, it must focus on its playoff opener against NYCFC, who opened the postseason with a 2-0 home win against Atlanta United.
"I think all that type of pressure is good for me, for the team because it’s why we had an amazing season this year," Carles Gil said. "So yes, we know that we’ll have a difficult game tomorrow against a very good team. But we’ve trained hard these three weeks and we’re ready.”