There haven’t been many more consistent performers for the New England Revolution over the last couple of years than Matt Polster. The American often goes under the radar at the base of midfield. I had the chance to chat with him 1-on-1, and so here it is. From Chicago to New England to Glasgow and everything in between.
An Exclusive Chat With Matt Polster
The Journey to Becoming a Professional Soccer Player
Every professional soccer player has to start somewhere. They have to fall in love with the game and kick their first ever ball. “It’s something I grew up with. Obviously, being American, you try a bunch of different sports, I played a little bit of baseball and basketball but the one thing I grew closest towards was soccer.”
Even for those stateside, English football is the pinnacle that is often turned too. “For me watching the Premier League was pretty much the way I got into the sport.” Matt Polster went on to say the following. “When I was growing up, it was difficult to watch MLS, it just was not easily accessible so for me the player I watched the most was Steven Gerrard but if I had to pick one player who has inspired me in MLS I would probably pick Dax McCarty” (of Nashville SC).
Incredible achievement brother! Top player 👏🏼 @DaxMcCarty11 https://t.co/A7EimuZl3I
— Matthew Ryan Polster (@MattPolster) September 18, 2022
McCarty will be playing playoff football this year with Nashville SC, whereas Polster and co will have to watch on from their sofas. It really has been a tough year in New England. When Bruce Arena said in a recent press conference that “There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that you in the media generally are not aware of”, it raised a few eyebrows.
Matt Polster touched on this and the question marks over any potential issues in the dressing room. “For me, it was a frustrating season, you can’t really say much else about it, but I don’t think it’s a lack of harmony in the group by any means.” He also added that, “Sometimes it is difficult to go from one extreme to another, for instance last year we didn’t have any hiccups, we didn’t have any injuries, everything was smooth sailing, we were winning just about every single game.”
Read More: Exclusive: An Interview with Damian Rivera, a.k.a. Tico
Matt Polster on His Time With Rangers
Polster is known to MLS fans as a player in both Chicago and New England. A key part of his career saw him play in Glasgow too though. He has always spoken fondly of his time with Rangers, and that remained the case here. “I really enjoyed it there. I thought the fans and the club were amazing and they helped me as much as they could.”
“The biggest mental shift from Chicago and MLS was you’re trying to make playoffs and that only requires a certain amount of points at times and you know you only have to win a certain amount of games. The mentally shift over there is obviously much greater where you can’t really drop points on the weekend, every game is a must-win and you’re going into every game with that mentality.”
He continued to discuss his time in the SPFL, and spoke in a sense that shows he still cares about and follows Rangers. “I enjoyed my experience with Rangers, I don’t want to say it’s a regret but I think I would have liked to have had more of a chance there and push a little bit harder to try and get more minutes.”
Life Away From Soccer
Every pro athlete has a life away from the public eye, with their family and loved ones. When asked about the opportunity to leave the US once again, Matt Polster said this. “I think there’s always a desire but for me starting a family, we have an 11-month old so just wanting to be closer to the family and we’ve grown some roots here.”
As well as looking after his child, the Milwaukee native spoke of golf and video games as his go-to things to do. “I usually just golf in the off-season, I don’t get much time during the (regular season), or if we do get a couple of days off I usually like to rest. When in the off-season, I like to golf with my dad and my brother as much as possible.”
My family and I couldn’t be happier to continue our stay here in New England! Thank you to Bruce, our entire staff, front office and the Kraft family. We’ve built something special here. All the focus now goes to getting into the playoffs and making a run at the Cup! 💙 #NEREVS pic.twitter.com/sj7hluJWcK
— Matthew Ryan Polster (@MattPolster) August 25, 2022
A fun and equally fascinating insight into a player’s personal life is regarding hobbies and also what they eat too. “Pre-match meal, three eggs, scrambled with maybe a bagel and some avocado. Then, cheat meal, pizza probably.” Interestingly enough, Sebastian Lletget also said pizza as his ideal cheat meal.
Matt Polster recently signed a new deal in New England and so is here to stay. As well as being a very effective player, he is a great guy and it was a pleasure to talk to him. Here is to a much better 2023 campaign!