Clint Peay and Revolution set to begin the Audi 2023 MLS Playoffs: “I believe the guys are ready to go.”
The New England Revolution will embark on their quest for the 2023 MLS Cup championship on Saturday night, when they visit Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Union in the opening match of the best-of-three Round One series.
“Yeah, obviously you have a comfort level with that group having just played them,” Peay said of New England’s 2-1 win over the Union in last Saturday’s regular season finale. “You feel confident that you can get the result since you just did it, so I believe the guys are ready to go. They know what to expect from Philly and certainly feel confident that they can win the two games.”
New England’s roster carries no shortage of postseason experience, with key players like midfielder Carles Gil, forward Gustavo Bou, and defender Andrew Farrell helping guide the Revolution to four postseason appearances over the last five years. Peay, a three-time MLS Cup champion himself, first lifted the trophy at the old Foxboro Stadium to close the league’s inaugural season in 1996.
When asked what advice he can provide to New England’s players from his title-winning days, Peay emphasized the importance of belief in the entire locker room.
“First and foremost, you have to have belief in yourself and the guys around you, and I think we have that,” Peay said. “I think you also have to be intelligent about how you approach every match, particularly in this first round, and you have to be a guy that can make plays. So, taking a little responsibility is important whether you’re defending or attacking, I think all those things are valuable.
“Then at the end of the day, just be yourself. Whatever got you here, you’ve got to be yourself and be true to that and hopefully, that will see you through to the championship.”
A key strength for New England is the club’s depth on the attacking end of the field, where Bou highlighted last weekend’s Decision Day win over Philadelphia with a two-goal performance. The Argentinian striker has a knack for scoring against the Union, netting five goals with two assists over eight career games played against Philadelphia.
“Yeah, [Bou] means a lot,” Peay said. “He’s a guy that draws a lot of attention, and so he can be a guy that can either win a game for you or set others up almost as a decoy at times and attract to free up other players. His leadership as it relates to how the team performs, motivating the guys, is important and something we’ll have to lean on in this playoff run.
“[Bou’s] a competitor and a fighter,” Peay said. “He’s not going to back down, for sure.”
Saturday’s Round One match kicks off at 5 p.m. ET from Subaru Park and is available to watch for free on Apple TV in English and Spanish, and on 98.5 The Sports Hub.