FOXBORO (CBS) — The New England Revolution had a real shot at something special this year. They had the greatest regular season of any team to take the pitch in MLS history, only to come up short — well short — when the postseason arrived.

That Supporters’ Shield that New England earned after setting a regular season record with 73 points lost a little bit of luster on Tuesday night, when the Revs fell to New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The match came down to penalty kicks, which is always a dangerous proposition. New York City put all five of their PKs by Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Turner, while Adam Buksa missed New England’s second attempt.

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The match — and New England’s season — were over when Alexander Callens put NYC’s final bid into the back of the net. New York City moved on to the East Finals, while the Revs were left stunned.

After their historic run in the regular season, 2021 now ends without a playoff victory for the Revs. New England missed a golden opportunity to bring home the franchise’s first MLS Cup title and win over the region.

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Instead, they join a long list of Supporters’ Shield winners to fall on their faces in the playoffs. Only seven of the 26 Supporters’ Shield winners have gone on to win the MLS Cup. The last time the best team in the regular season carried their success over to the playoffs was in 2017, when Toronto FC took home the Shield and the Cup.

Eight Shield winners have lost in the MLS Cup title game. New England is now the eighth to fall in the conference semis. Last year, the Philadelphia Union won the Supporters’ Shield only to fall in Round One of the expanded 2020 MLS playoffs.

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To say the final outcome of the Revs season is disappointing would be an understatement. It’s important not to lose sight on how special their regular season run was, but with it came some beefy expectations for the playoffs. The Revs came up well short in that department, and you have to wonder if their Supporters’ Shield banner will join the Patriots’ 16-0 banner somewhere in the bowels of Gillette Stadium.

CBSBoston.com Staff