Apple TV analyst Ross Smith: Revolution have “been there, done that”
With two games remaining in the Major League Soccer regular season and a tight battle within the Eastern Conference for homefield advantage in the opening round of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, the New England Revolution know how important collecting points will be over the next two weekends. But a veteran-led roster with no shortage of postseason experience is certainly a strength New England carries as it gears up for its fourth playoff run over the last five years.
Apple TV analyst Ross Smith, who will call Saturday’s match against Nashville SC at GEODIS Park, joined DJ Bean on “The Soccer Show” to discuss the positives for New England as the postseason nears.
“You have maturity [on the roster],” Smith said, “and I feel like you do have guys in the right positions. I call them the ‘been there, done that’ player.”
A handful of New England’s players have experienced all four of the Revolution’s postseason runs over the last five years, including midfielder Carles Gil, who continues to make his case for the 2023 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award. Gil scored both of New England’s goals last weekend against Orlando City SC, raising the Revolution captain’s total to a career-high 11 tallies this season. Tonight’s contest features both of the league’s most recent MVP winners in Gil (2021) and Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar (2022).
Revolution striker Gustavo Bou has also been part of New England’s four playoff appearances since 2019. The Argentinian striker has made consecutive appearances in each of the last three matches since returning from a leg injury.
New England continues to near full strength with the returns of Bou and defender Henry Kessler, who made his first appearance since sustaining a hamstring injury on April 8 in last weekend’s match.
“I thought [Kessler] was fantastic, and he made a big difference coming on in the second half,” Smith said of Kessler’s 45-minute performance last weekend in Orlando. “He has the rare ability of a center back. He can deal with anything in front of him, and anything in behind him.”
New England (14-8-10; 52 pts.) currently sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. With a win over Nashville SC (12-10-10; 46 pts.) tonight, the Revolution will surpass fourth-place Columbus and match third-place Philadelphia to set up a pivotal clash against the Union on MLS Decision Day next Saturday, Oct. 21 at Gillette Stadium.
Tonight’s match against seventh-place Nashville SC kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET is free to watch on Apple TV in English and Spanish. Listen live on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Brad Feldman and Rachel Wood calling the action.