Team of the Matchday: FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta shows MVP credentials
FC Cincinnati are the first Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs-bound team, giving them prime real estate in the Team of the Matchday presented by Audi for Matchday 29.
Updated November 13, 2023
MATT POLSTER AT A GLANCE:
MLS CAREER: Currently in eighth MLS season and fourth with the Revolution…Acquired by New England on July 8, 2020 via transfer from Rangers FC in Scotland…Signed to a two-year contract extension through 2024 with an additional club option in 2025 on Aug. 25, 2022…Spent first four seasons of his professional career in Chicago from 2015-18 after being selected seventh overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft…Career MLS totals include 186 league appearances and 163 starts, notching nine goals and 16 assists across 14,313 minutes played…Owns eight appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs, all starts, with 708 minutes played…Has played an additional 10 matches in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, including seven starts…Also owns two appearances, both starts, in Concacaf Champions League action…Made a career high 31 appearances, all starts, in 2023 with two goals and two assists…Also started in both MLS Cup Playoff matches…Logged three appearances, with two starts, in Leagues Cup 2023 play, recording one assist…Made 28 appearances, starting on 24 occasions, in MLS play during the 2022 season, notching two goals and two assists across 2,116 minutes…In 2021, appeared in 30 games, including 27 starts, with two goals scored over 2,279 minutes played…Made 15 MLS appearances in 2020, eight of them starts, and recorded two assists for the Revs…Added four postseason starts…Played three matches in 2018, missing the majority of the year with a knee injury…Suited up for 22 matches in 2017 after missing the opening two months recovering from injury, setting a career high with seven assists…Appeared in 27 matches during the 2016 season, scoring a career-high two goals along with a pair of assists…Made 30 appearances and 27 starts during his 2015 rookie season in Chicago.
2023: Owns 22 appearances, all starts, with two goals and one assist in regular season play…(2/25) at CLT: Made season debut, creating three chances – his highest single-game total with New England…(3/12) at LAFC: Wore captain’s armband for first time with the club…(3/25) at DC: Surpassed 12,000 minutes played in MLS…(5/13) at MCF: Tallied first assist of the season in a 90-minute effort...(6/10) vs. Inter Miami: Scored his goal of the season…(6/24) vs. Toronto: Made his 150th MLS start and 100th appearance for Revolution…(7/8) at RBNY: Marked 175th MLS appearance with a 90-minute performance…(7/12) at ATL: Notched second goal of the season in 90-minute performance…(8/7) vs. QRO: Notched a game-tying assist in Leagues Cup Round of 16 play…(8/30) vs. RBNY: Selected to MLS Team of the Matchday for a clean sheet performance in second start of the season at right back…(9/9) at MIN: Tallied second assist of the season…(9/30) vs. CLT: Made 100th appearance in MLS play for New England…(10/21) vs. PHI: Made 100th start for the club across all competitions…Postseason: (11/8) vs. PHI: Completed 67 of 69 passes in his eighth career postseason start.
2022: Owns 28 appearances, starting on 24 occasions, in MLS play, notching two goals and two assists across 2,116 minutes…Added two appearances, both starts, in Concacaf Champions League play, logging 180 minutes…(2/26) at POR: Made season debut in a 90-minute effort, recording two shots…(4/16) vs. CLT: Registered the first goal-and-assist performance of his career, finishing his 90-minute outing with two shots on target…(4/30) vs. MCF: Registered a game-winning assist and a shot on target in a 72-minute effort, completing 93.4 percent of his passes...(5/21) at CIN: Suspended due to yellow card accumulation...(6/15) at ORL: Started and played 41 minutes before sustaining a head injury...(7/30) vs. TOR: Made 50th start for the Revolution…(8/6) at ORL: Netted second goal of the season, a game-winner…(8/31) vs. CHI: Notched 150th MLS appearance, doing so against his former club…(9/17) vs. MTL: Registered team highs in tackles won (3), duels won (5), and interceptions (3) while completing 38 of 42 passes in a 90-minute effort.
2021: Appeared in 30 games, including 27 starts, with two goals in 2,279 minutes played…Matched his career-highs in appearances, starts and goals scored…Made one additional start in the MLS Cup Playoffs, logging a 90-minute performance in the Eastern Conference Semifinal…(4/17) at CHI: Started and played 90 minutes in the season opener…(4/24) vs. DC: Registered 10th start with the Revolution and played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win…(5/1) vs. ATL: Recorded 100th MLS appearance in the 2-1 win…(5/29) at CIN: Posted a game-high eight tackles and played 90 minutes in central midfield in the 1-0 away win…(6/19) at NYC: Logged fourth consecutive full 90-minute performance…(7/17) at ATL: Recorded two shots over 90 minutes in the 1-0 road win…(8/8) vs. PHI: Scored first goal of the season- and first goal in a Revolution uniform- in 2-1 win…(9/3) at PHI: Started, played all 90 minutes and netted the game-winning goal…Marked 100th MLS start…Earned MLS Team of the Week honors…(9/25) vs. ORL: Surpassed 9,000 minutes played in MLS…(9/29) at MTL: Started and played 88 minutes in the 4-1 win on the road…(10/20) at DC: Collected his 125th appearance in MLS…(11/7) vs. MIA: Played all 90 minutes in the final match of the regular season, a 1-0 defeat on Decision Day…Postseason: (11/30) vs. NYC: Started and played 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw in the Eastern Conference Semifinal…Surpassed 500 minutes played in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
2020: Signed by the Revolution on July 8, 2020 following his transfer from Scottish Premiership club Rangers FC…Made 15 appearances, including eight starts, and registered two assists over 756 minutes of action…Added four starts in the MLS Cup Playoffs, helping New England reach the Eastern Conference Final…(8/20) vs. PHI: Made Revolution debut in 90-minute performance in 0-0 draw…(8/25) at DC: Started in the 2-1 away win…Marked 75th career appearance...(10/14) at MTL: Started and played all 90 minutes in 3-2 win…Registered his first assist with New England…(10/19) vs. PHI: Logged assist for the second consecutive match in 2-1 defeat…Postseason: (11/20) vs. MTL: Started and played 90 minutes in 2-1 win in Play-In Round…(11/24) at PHI: Registered second straight 90-minute performance in clean-sheet win over the Supporters’ Shield winners in Round One…(11/29) at ORL: Started and played 78 minutes in 3-1 win in Conference Semifinal…(12/6) at CLB: Made fifth career postseason appearance in the Eastern Conference Final, a 1-0 defeat.
2018 (with Chicago): Missed most of the season recovering from an MCL injury…Played in three matches, starting once, for a total of 126 minutes…Recorded one assist…(3/10) vs. SKC: Started and played 89 minutes in a 4-3 loss, recording his lone assist of the season in the 82nd minute…(5/17): Underwent knee surgery after sustaining an MCL tear in training and missed the next four months of play…(10/21) at ATL: Made his first appearance in over seven months as a second-half substitute, playing the 17 minutes of a 2-1 loss…(10/28) vs. DC: Played the final 20 minutes of a 0-0 draw.
2017 (with Chicago): Missed the opening nine games of the season due to injury…Played in 22 matches during the MLS regular season, starting 21...Recorded a career-high seven assists along with one goal across 1,769 minutes…Also played in two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches…(5/13) vs. SEA: Made season debut, coming on as a substitute for the final 19 minutes of a 4-1 win…(5/17) vs. COL: Made first start of the season, playing all 90 minutes and recording his first assist of the year in the 57th minute…(6/24) vs. ORL: Added his first-career game-winning assist in the 3rd minute of 4-0 win…(6/28) vs. CIN: Played a career-high 120 minutes in a U.S. Open Cup defeat…(7/1) vs. VAN: Recorded two assists, a career-best mark, in a 4-0 victory, helping on goals in the 14th and 25th minutes…(8/5) vs. NE: Scored first and only goal of the season, his final one for the Fire, in the 8th minute of a 4-1 win…(9/2) at MTL: Assisted on the game-winning tally in the 59th minute of a 1-0 victory…(9/23) at PHI: Tallied an assist in the 67th minute of a 3-1 loss…(9/27) at SJ: Recorded an assist in the 14th minute of a 4-1 win, helping Chicago clinch a postseason berth…Postseason: (10/25) vs. NY: Made MLS postseason debut in a 4-0 loss, playing the full 90 minutes and logging a game-high three shot attempts.
2016 (with Chicago): Played in 27 games, starting 24, during the MLS Regular Season for Chicago, appearing in three additional matches during the club’s run to the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals…Scored a career-best two goals and added two assists across 2,107 minutes in MLS play…(3/11) at ORL: Suffered a career-high four fouls playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw…(7/31) vs. NY: Scored first-career goal on a diving header in a 2-2 draw, a goal that was later voted the Chicago Fire’s goal of the year…(8/14) vs. ORL: Recorded his first-career assist, setting up a John Goosens tally in the sixth minute of a 2-2 draw…(8/20) at MTL: Scored second goal of the season and of his career in the 89th minute of a 3-0 victory…(9/23) at NYC: Recorded his second assist of the season on a goal by Luis Solignac in the 35th minute of a 4-1 defeat.
2015 (with Chicago): Selected seventh overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, signing with Chicago on Feb. 4, 2015…Appeared in 30 matches, starting 27, during the MLS Regular Season for Chicago along with four additional games in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup…Logged a career-high 2,422 minutes as a rookie…Received a career-high 10 yellow cards in his rookie season and committed 57 fouls, also a career-high…(3/6) at LA: Made his MLS debut, coming on as a substitute for the final 27 minutes in a 2-0 loss…(3/14) vs. VAN: Logged his first MLS start, playing 59 minutes in a 1-0 loss and earning his first-career yellow card…(3/22) at SJ: Played 90 minutes for the first time in an MLS match, earning a yellow card in a 2-1 loss…(3/29) vs. PHI: Recorded first career shot attempt and set a career-high with five fouls committed…(4/24) vs. NYC: Recorded his first two shots on target in a 1-0 win…(10/25) vs. NY: Recorded a career-best three shot attempts, including one on target in a 2-1 loss to close out the regular season.
CLUB CAREER OUTSIDE OF MLS: Signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Rangers FC after a successful trial in December 2018…Totaled 10 games including three starts in the Scottish top flight during the 2019-20 season…Made Rangers debut on April 20, 2019, coming on for the final three minutes of a 3-1 win over Heart of Midlothian FC…Started and played all 90 minutes of a 6-0 victory over Gibraltan side St. Joseph’s FC in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League’s first qualifying round…Made his only Scottish League Cup appearance in a 3-0 win over East Fife on Aug. 18, 2019, playing the full 90 minutes at right back…Made his 2019-20 season debut on Oct. 6, 2019 in a 5-0 win over Hamilton Academical, playing the final 26 minutes as a substitute…Made additional substitute appearances in a 2-0 win over a Motherwell (12/16/19) and in a 2-1 loss to Hearts (01/26/20)…Was an unused substitute on three occasions during the 2019-20 Rangers season…Logged three total starts for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, doing so for the first time at right back in a 2-0 win over Ross County on Jan. 29, 2020 and receiving his first yellow card of the season…Started the following match at right back in a 0-0 draw against Aberdeen FC on Feb. 1, 2020, playing 83 minutes…Made his final start at right for Rangers, a 1-0 win over Ross County on Mar. 8, 2020…Earned his first appearance as a substitute in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, playing the final five minutes of a 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen (GER) in his final appearance for the club…Played for the Chicago Fire U-23 squad during the summer of 2014 in the Premier Development League (now USL League Two)…Made four appearances for the Victoria Highlanders of the Pacific Coast Soccer League in 2013.
NATIONAL TEAM (UNITED STATES): Selected to the U.S. Under-23 team at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in 2016, starting all five matches for the United States in the competition…Participated in the USMNT’s annual January camp in 2016…Called into USMNT Camp again in January 2018, where he earned his first senior appearance against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 0-0 draw.
COLLEGE CAREER (SIU EDWARDSVILLE): Tallied six goals and 12 assists in 79 matches – all starts – during his four-year career at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville…Selected to the 2014 NSCAA All-West Region First-Team and the 2014 NSCAA Scholar All-America First Team…Won the Missouri Valley Conference Defender of the Year Award in his senior season and was named to the MVC All-Tournament team for the third straight year…Tied his career high with three goals as a senior over 21 matches, all starts, and added a pair of assists…Named to the preseason watch-list for the MAC Hermann Trophy as a junior…Started all 19 games in his junior season, finishing the year with a team-high four assists and ranking second on the team with 21 shots…Earned selections to the 2013 NSCAA All-Region Third Team, All-MVC First Team, and MVC All-Tournament team…Started 19 games at center back as a sophomore, earning First Team NSCAA All-Region defender and First Team All-MVC honors and a selection to the MVC All-Tournament team…Named 2011 MVC Freshman of the Year, scoring three goals and led the team with a career-high six assists…Earned 2011 All-MVC Honorable Mention…Scored his first-career game-winning goal in the 84th minute against UMKC on Nov. 4, 2011…Finished second on the team with 35 shot attempts as a freshman.
PERSONAL: Full name is Matthew Ryan Polster…Born in Milwaukee, Wisc. and raised in Las Vegas, Nev. …Began playing youth soccer for the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club…Played one season for the Colorado Rapids Academy in 2010-11…Married his wife, Brittany, on Jan. 4, 2020 in his hometown of Las Vegas…Has one daughter, born in October 2021…Majored in Finance while at SIU-Edwardsville…Completed his high school soccer career at Palo Verde High School with 24 goals and 12 assists, including 10 goals and an assist as a senior...Named the 2010-11 Gatorade Nevada Boys Soccer Player of the Year... Helped Palo Verde to a 13-2-3 record as a senior and a spot in the Class 4A Sunset Region semifinals...Member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV Olympic Development Squad in 2010...Two-time All-4A South Nevada and All-4A Sunset Region player.