New England Revolution II (14-6-8; 56 pts.; No. 2 in East) continues its postseason run, hosting Columbus Crew 2 (16-9-3; 54 pts.; No. 3 in East) at Gillette Stadium in the Eastern Conference Final of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs on Saturday. The match kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET with Josh Eastern and Ricky Lopez Espin calling the action on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
Revolution II secured their position as one of the final four teams standing in MLS NEXT Pro after a 2-1 win over fourth-seeded New York Red Bulls II last weekend in Foxborough. Groton, Mass. native Malcolm Fry, an 18-year-old Revolution Academy graduate, netted the opening goal of the match on Marcos Dias’ assist to guide New England’s attack in the right direction. Dias has found the scoresheet in each of New England’s postseason victories, with one goal and one assist in the team’s first-ever playoff run. Boston College product Victor Souza, who has played every minute for Revolution II in the regular season and playoffs in central defense, followed suit with the eventual game-winner. Cambridge, Mass. native Jack Panayotou recorded the winning assist on Souza’s goal. Goalkeeper Jacob Jackson made two saves in net.
Fry and Panayotou highlight a group of local players and Revolution Academy graduates contributing to the team’s postseason success. Peyton Miller (Unionville, Conn.), Colby Quiñones (Bedford, N.H.), Olger Escobar (Malden, Mass.), and Brandonn Bueno (Framingham, Mass.), also featured on the team’s matchday roster in last weekend’s Semifinal Round victory. With Fry’s goal and Panayotou’s assist, Revolution II has received 41 goal contributions from Revolution Academy products in 2023, including regular season.
Saturday’s contest matches New England up against the defending MLS NEXT Pro Cup Champions for their fifth overall meeting in 2023. Columbus punched its ticket to the Conference Final after collecting a 1-0 clean sheet win over top-seed Crown Legacy FC in the Semifinal Round. Revolution II last met Columbus on May 25, posting a 2-0 shutout win at Gillette Stadium behind goals from Ben Awashie and Jordan Adebayo-Smith, the team’s leading scorer, and a three-save performance from goalkeeper Nico Campuzano. Including regular season, New England has logged results in 15 of its 16 games played at Gillette Stadium with a 10-1-5 record.
General admission tickets for Saturday’s match are on sale now. For the 2023 season, Season Members received three (3) complimentary Revs II “flex tickets” for each season seat on their account. To allocate these Revolution II flex tickets to specific home playoff games at Gillette Stadium, Season Members can log into Account Manager. Season Members can also purchase additional discounted Revs II home playoff individual game tickets for $7 each at the Season Member rate via Account Managerand clicking the “Buy Revs II Tickets” button in the header.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AGAINST COLUMBUS CREW 2:
- Revolution II earning their first Eastern Conference Championship title in the team’s four-year history.
- New England improving upon its 10-1-5 record at Gillette Stadium in 2023, including regular season.
- Revolution II improving on their 8-1-6 record over their last 15 matches.
- Forward Malcolm Fry building on his goal-scoring performance on Friday night. The Groton, Mass. native played 87 minutes in the Conference Semifinal.
- Goalkeeper Jacob Jackson collecting his third straight postseason victory in net.
- Local products Peyton Miller (Unionville, Conn.), Brandonn Bueno (Framingham, Mass.), and Olger Escobar (Malden, Mass.) continuing to play significant roles with New England’s second team.
- Forward Marcos Dias finding the scoresheet for a third consecutive postseason match. Dias has one goal and one assist in the playoffs.
- Defenders Pierre Cayet, Colby Quiñones, and Victor Souza continuing to lead the backline with the trio playing every minute this postseason.
- Forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith adding to his team-leading 12 goals in 2023. The East London native owns one assist in the postseason.