New England's Carles Gil wins MLS Most Valuable Player award
By ANNE M. PETERSON
New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil has been named Major League Soccer's Player of the Year.
Gil had a league-best 18 assists, as well as four goals, and captained the Revolution to a historic season. New England won the Supporters' Shield with a league-record 73 points.
Eight of Gil's assists came on game-winning goals.
"For me, it means a lot, especially after the 2020 season, where I had a tough injury and we all went through that pandemic. I was very inspired coming into this season to see my teammates and the collection of players that we have here," Gil said. "We realized after the 2020 season that we're a championship-caliber team, we're a great team. And we showed that this regular season where there were more games. The loss the other night will help motivate us going into next season."
The Revs were thwarted in this year's playoffs by NYCFC in the conference semifinals, eliminated on a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.
Sidelined for most of last season because of a bone spur, Gil was also honored last week as the league's Comeback Player of the Year.
Gil, 29, led the league with 130 chances created, which is the most since the league started tracking the stat in 2011. The Revolution were 12-1-3 in games in which Gil had a goal or an assist.
"Carles sets an example," Revs coach Bruce Arena said. "His leadership is critically important. When you think about the Revolution, when he arrived in 2019 we were at the bottom of the league. And in a short period of time and until recently, we were the best regular season team in the history of MLS. And Carles is certainly responsible for the tremendous progress we've made with our club."
Arena won the league's Coach of the Year honors last week.
Gil, who is from Spain, was named MLS Newcomer of the Year his rookie season in 2019. He signed a contract extension with New England this year that will keep him with the Revs through the 2024 season.
"I didn't know a lot about the league when I got here, and it was difficult. But little by little I took small steps forward. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was a great decision, the club and everyone gave me so much confidence early on," Gil said through an interpreter. "And like I've said before, I enjoy training and playing with my teammates every day."
Gil is the second Revolution player to win season MVP honors. The first was Taylor Twellman in 2005.
The Landon Donovan MLS Player of the Year award is determined by votes of players, coaches and media that cover the league. Gil received 52.07% of the vote. Nashville's Hany Mukhtar was second with 11.80%.
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Updated December 7, 2021