New England Revolution

Carles Gil named Major League Soccer MVP

Gil, who led MLS with 18 assists, was a central figure in New England's record-setting regular season.

Carles Gil MVP
Carles Gil playing for the Revolution in July, 2021. AP Photo/Jeff Dean

After a year in which he led the league in several major statistics and was literally central in the Revolution’s record-setting regular season, it was with little surprise that Carles Gil was named the 2021 recipient of the Landon Donovan Major League Soccer MVP Award on Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium.

Gil, 29, led MLS with 18 assists during a remarkable campaign in which New England won the Supporters’ Shield for the first time in club history and finished with a new league-high mark of 73 points. The Spanish playmaker scored four times and also led the league with 117 key passes, far ahead of Minnesota United’s Emanuel Reynoso, who was a distant second with 88.

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Yet it was at a more basic level at that Gil, New England’s captain, made his mark as the league’s most valuable player. He frequently recorded more touches on the ball in games than anyone else, influencing the pace, intensity, and flow of play, tilting the proceeding in the Revolution’s favor.

Gil missed much of the 2020 season with an Achilles injury, and as a result, had already won the 2021 Comeback Player of the Year Award. Now, the 2019 Newcomer of the Year has yet another trophy to add to his growing collection (which also includes selection in league’s year-end Best XI).

Still, New England’s glittering season came to a crashing halt in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Nov. 30. Bruce Arena’s team lost at home to New York City FC on penalty kicks after extra time resulted in a 2-2 deadlock.

And yet, Gil’s accomplishments take their place alongside other club legends. He is the second Revolution player to win MVP after forward Taylor Twellman won it in 2005 having scored 17 goals in 25 games.

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