The New England Revolution (18-4-5; 59 pts.) defeated Chicago Fire FC (6-14-6; 23 pts.), 3-2, on Wednesday night at Soldier Field. With tonight’s win, New England clinches its berth in the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, while also setting a single-season club record for victories (18) and matching the franchise record for points (59). Defender Henry Kessler opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first goal of the season, followed by midfielder Teal Bunbury’s third tally of the year in the 62nd minute. Midfielder Carles Gil netted the game-winner on a fastbreak in the 91st minute to give New England its eighth away win of the year, also a new high-water mark for the club.
New England is en route to the playoffs for the third consecutive year, and its third in as many seasons under Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena. Arena is now four wins away from equaling Sigi Schmid for the most regular season wins in MLS history. The Revolution’s away record improves to 8-3-3, one win ahead of Seattle for the most road victories in MLS this season. New England, 11-1-2 over its last 14 contests, is now 3-0-2 in the last five meetings with Chicago. The Revs also added to their MLS record of 15 wins by a one-goal margin.
Kessler becomes the 13th different Revolution player to score a goal this season. The second-year defender’s right-footed shot from the center of the box was assisted by defender Jon Bell and midfielder Arnór Traustason. Traustason registered his seventh assist of the season on the play, second most on the team and among the top 12 in MLS, while Bell collected his second helper. On Bunbury’s goal, Gustavo tallied an assist, as did goalkeeper Matt Turner – the first of his MLS career. Meanwhile, Gil’s third goal of the season gives the midfielder 19 combined goals and assists this season – tied for third most in MLS at the conclusion of tonight’s match.
Arena deployed a season-high nine changes to New England’s Starting XI for tonight’s match, highlighted by midfielder Luis Caicedo’s first MLS appearance since Oct. 6, 2019. Caicedo, who has been sidelined this season with a knee injury, surpassed 5,000 minutes played in MLS with his full 90-minute performance tonight. The 25-year-old from Colombia finished with four clearances, three interceptions and three tackles. Wilfrid Kaptoum also went the distance in the midfield for New England.
Turner, who recorded his 90th MLS appearance tonight, backstopped the Revs’ defense with seven saves, matching his season high. In addition, Homegrown Player Scott Caldwell logged his 175th MLS start, while veteran defender A.J. DeLaGarza recorded his 275th MLS appearance tonight.
New England returns home to Gillette Stadium to host Orlando City SC on Saturday, September 25. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET on 98.5 The Sports Hub.