Jacob Jackson arrived at the New England Revolution in 2022 courtesy of the MLS SuperDraft. The goalkeeper entered the fold recently, making his first start for the club in the 3-2 away defeat against Nashville SC. Last Word on Soccer exclusively spoke to Jackson and here is what he had to say.
An In-Depth Interview with Jacob Jackson
Goalkeepers “Are a Little Interesting Fellas”
Jacob Jackson has had quite the experience in New England, having featured alongside two of the best goalkeepers to ever play in Major League Soccer. Matt Turner and Djordje Petrovic are the duo in question and Jackson had a lot of positive things to say about the other shot-stoppers to play for the Revs.
“When I first got drafted, [Matt] Turner was still here and Djordje [Petrovic] just got here. I think both of them have provided me multiple things to look for and also given me a roadmap- to follow our goalie coach Kevin Hitchcock’s formulas and strategies on how to do things and even the techniques of things.
“Matt was a perfect example and you see how it goes with Nottingham [Forest] and how clinical he’s been with them.”
Jackson then went on to sing the praises of his current Revs teammates in that position as well. “I think it’s one of the things where once we step across those lines, all of us become competitors. Um, but in a healthy way, you know, we’re not trying to screw each other’s reps over. We’re not trying to, um, punish anyone. I definitely think we demand a lot from each other to serve the best balls we can and really challenge each other.
“But the moment we step off the field, we’re all friendly with each other. We’re all laughing. we’re a very tight-knit group, you know, like they say, the goalkeeper union is a very tight group. They go through the same things I’ve gone through after all.”
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) October 14, 2023
As previously mentioned, Jacob Jackson has only recently got his first taste of action for the first team. “Everyone’s been supportive of me having that opportunity and I can’t thank them enough. Hopefully I continue to hold on to that opportunity and continue to start. But every day, every week, is hard and I have to continue to show that I’m the starter.
“I think that’s what makes our goalkeeper unit the best in the league, uh, is because we demand so much from each other.”
It hasn’t been an easy journey to this point though it has to be said with injuries plaguing him in the past couple of years, something which the 23-year-old touched on. “I was fortunate enough to have both the best trainers and best doctors both times. In this day and age where I’m at with New England, the trainers took very good care of me. They talked me through a lot.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to his choice of position, Jackson said this; “I’ve been around soccer pretty much my whole life and always have been a goalie, never wanted to do anything else.” He continued, “I remember growing up and everyone was always talking about wanting to score goals, it’d be that game-winning goal in like the World Cup or whatever. But my dream was always to save it”, also commenting that all goalkeepers “are a little interesting fellas”, including himself and that Edwin van der Sar and Tim Howard were his inspirations for the position.
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Jacob Jackson on his Love for Golf
Professional athletes have to be able to relax away from the sport and away from the training ground and the release for Jackson is golf.
“Golf’s been kind of my favourite thing to do outside of soccer. It kind of makes you be competitive. I’m decent. You know, I don’t like to ever say I’m good at golf because if I was good, I’d be on tour, and I’m not. So I definitely like to say I’m decent. I think it’s just because I’m not that good or decent at it, it makes me put my competitive drive into something.”
Team Europe recently won on home soil in the Ryder Cup against Team USA and a number of the players on show there have the Jacob Jackson stamp of approval.
“I think Rory’s [McIlroy] swing is impeccable and I think it’s the perfect swing. Hard to replicate but that’s why, I guess, he’s on tour and I’m not. But I definitely would give him the shout- I like Justin Thomas as well, he’s decent.
“John Rahm is up there as well. Little different style of the swing. But, uh, he can smack a ball a mile away and he’s very clinical when it comes to certain types of shots.”
🗣 “As a Man United fan I cannot go anywhere near that!”
RORY MCILROY has revealed fellow golfers Jordan Spieth & Justin Thomas offered him a chance to invest in Leeds United. For the Red Devils diehard, it was a non-starter. pic.twitter.com/UfbiYM986W
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) October 23, 2023
Cooking is another hobby of the Revolution’s goalkeeper and he even spoke us through his best dishes. “I definitely like to do a homemade carbonara with fresh pasta. That’s a pretty fun one. Um, another one that I’ve recently been into is making soup dumplings. It’s been very difficult, but has proven when done right, very rewarding.”
Ahead of the first playoff game for the Revolution, in which they travel to Pennsylvania to face the Philadelphia Union, it was fascinating to hear more about Jacob Jackson as both a player and a person. He said that it is “exciting to get the opportunity” to play in the post-season both for him as an individual and for this team as well.
Featured image credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports, Oct 21, 2023.