Gil Gives Revs and Unexpected Scoring Boost
By Kyle McCarthy
FOXBORO -- Lofty expectations swirled around Carles Gil from the moment he agreed to join the New England Revolution at the end of January.
In his first three appearances, Gil embraced those pressures and illustrated why the Revs acquired him from Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruna for a fee in the region of $2 million.
Gil’s deft work in possession and his willingness to contribute defensively showed why the Revs wanted to add him into a side in need of a central creative figure. He also supplied a rather unanticipated benefit in the process: goals.
The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder scored three times in his first three appearances, a mark that already represents his highest total in a season since he struck four times for Elche CF in the Spanish second division in 2012-13.
“It’s all about trust at the end of the day,” Gil told the Herald through a translator ahead of the Revs’ Sunday afternoon match against FC Cincinnati (4, NBC Sports Boston). “When your teammates trust each other, it’s much easier to score and it frees you to score. Fortunately, I’m having a lot of luck with scoring and I hope it continues that way.”
Gil forged those bonds quickly after completing a brisk courtship between team and player and joining the team during the midst of a preseason trip to Marbella, Spain. He cited Revolution head coach Brad Friedel’s vision for his role in the team and the strength of MLS as key factors in his decision to leave Deportivo and join the Revs as a Designated Player.
“He told me about the team and the league,” Gil said. “It was one of the biggest motivations for coming here. It was because of the trust I had with him and the responsibility I had to come over here after speaking with him.”
Friedel creates ample opportunity for Gil to thrive by allowing him the latitude to find the ball and move quickly. Gil drifts from side to side to combine adroitly with teammates in dangerous areas and occasionally drops deeper toward the halfway line to facilitate the Revs’ work in possession.
While Gil’s exploits when the Revs have the ball draw most of the attention, his work rate without it adds another component to his contributions. Gil recovered possession four times in the attacking half as part of his two-goal performance in the 3-2 defeat at Toronto FC last Sunday, according to Opta statistics.
“The truth is that it is all a process of adaption,” Gil said. “So far, I have adapted to the league and adapted to my teammates. I am very happy with the first few weeks here. I hope to adapt more and more and get even more acclimated.”
Gil hopes those adjustments lead to more collective success -- and a first win of the campaign after one draw and two defeats so far -- ahead of the Revs’ first meeting against expansion side FC Cincinnati this afternoon.
“The main objective is clear: We haven’t started well, but we hope to get our first victory on Sunday against Cincinnati and make the playoffs at the end of the season,” Gil said. “I just want to help the team in any way I can.”