New England Revolution
By: Frank Morris Lopez
Awards & Recognitions:
2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player
2021 MLS Best XI
2021 Comeback Player of the Year
June 2021 Player of the Month
2021 Revolution Team MVP
2019 MLS Best XI Honors
2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year
2019 Revolution Team MVP
Sometimes life’s path to success is not a straight line — such has been the case for Carles Gil, the New England Revolution midfielder who found himself meandering through teams until he found his sweet spot and the title of league MVP.
Born in Spain, Gil began his career with Valencia, playing mostly in their reserves and making his debut with the first team in 2014. He also spent two seasons on loan at Elche, winning promotion to La Liga in 2013. Later, he had a spell in the Premier League with Aston Villa before a return to Spain with Deportivo La Coruña.
But in January 2019, Gil joined the New England Revolution as a designated player on a multi-year contract for a club record transfer fee of $2 million. He scored in his Major League Soccer debut in a 1–1 draw at FC Dallas.
“When I arrived, I was in a moment where I didn't have this confidence," he told ESPN. "I didn't enjoy playing football, and [New England] changed all of these things."
Gil eventually became the Revs’ captain and finished his first season with 10 goals and 14 assists, helping lead the team to its first playoff appearance since 2015. That year he won several awards, including MLS Newcomer of the Year and Midnight Riders Man of the Year.
“At first, I didn't want to go because I didn't know MLS, the country, everything. But then, I accepted and finally I arrived here and it's an amazing experience for me,” Gil told goal.com.
“At the beginning, I saw something different … from being in Spain,” he said. This league is different. Every year the league is better, the players are better, a very good league and good stadiums. I'm enjoying everything too much here and I'm just very happy.”
And he should be. Gil is a two-time MLS Best XI selection and two-time Revolution Team MVP. He was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year after missing most of the 2020 season with a bone spur injury, only to return ahead of schedule to lead the Revs to the Eastern Conference Finals.
In 2021, in his fourth season in the league, Gil was awarded the Landon Donovan MLS League Most Valuable Player award.
“I think this trophy has my name because it's an individual trophy,” he said. “But we make this together, no?”
Gil is currently signed with the Revs through the 2024 season. “I found my place here, I’m happy here, and I’m performing on the field here,” he told mlssoccer.com. “I have it all.”