“He’s in as good a form as he’s ever been” | Carles Gil crucial to Revs’ recent resurgence

6_15_24 Carles Gil action

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – This past Saturday’s win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC took the New England Revolution up to three in a row, their first official winning streak of the season. And, in case anybody hasn’t been watching the games, it has been your 2021 Landon Donovan MVP Carles Gil playing perhaps the pivotal role in helping get the team’s results turned around: assisting in each of those three wins, dazzling with his performances both on and off the ball, and demonstrating clearly that he wasn’t done in ’21.

Head coach Caleb Porter may have only had Capi under his direction since December, but the MLS veteran was certainly no stranger to Gil’s abilities coming in. And now, Porter feels that Gil is starting to reach a point this season that surpasses anything he had seen out of the Spaniard previously.

“For me, he’s one of the best players in the league, I’ve said it since day one.” Porter said after training Tuesday. “But I also think he’s in as good a form as he’s ever been. Obviously, he’s been in really good form in his career, certain years, but I think his influence, both sides of the ball, not just with goals and assists but with rhythm – and he’s not getting credit for some assists [where] he was instrumental in setting up the goal, he just didn’t get the actual assist in some cases.

“I told him after the game right in front of the whole team that I think he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play in his career. So, it’s great to see, and I think it’s a byproduct of him working really hard, having a great attitude, and also really fitting into our game model as a true number 10 who’s a true fulcrum for our attack.”

Gil has already made history this season by becoming the fourth-ever Revs player to reach 100 goal contributions for the club. And, at least so far this season, he’s chipped in with more goals than assists, though his last three helpers have just about leveled the playing field, not to mention put him in the lead on the team for both categories.

For his own part, though, Carles isn’t taking any time to stop and reflect on his own recent run of form, or even the team’s; he’s only focused on what’s ahead.

“We want to continue like this, winning games,” Gil said. “We are still on the bottom [of the Eastern Conference], so we’re still not happy with our season for the moment.”

He added that he expects this weekend’s road trip to face defending Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati to be a great chance for the team to show just how far they’ve come.

“I think we have, now, a perfect test, against maybe the best team in the last year and a half, and we want to win.”

Crucially, the trip to Cincinnati will mark the halfway point of New England’s regular season, and when Gil was asked to look ahead to the latter portion of the year, his response made clear that the team’s shaky start has not shaken his ambitions.

“We want to make the playoffs, for sure,” he said. “We are [close] because we have one, two games [in hand]. I think, like I said, [Cincinnati] is a good test to show everyone, ‘We are back,’ you know, ‘We are a good team.’ And if we win in Cincy, I think with four in a row, it will be nice.”

Similarly, Porter’s message going into the third quarter of the season was clear: “Keep improving.”

“First quarter, I said it, we were kind of in the ‘storming’ phase, and now I think we’re in the ‘norming’/’performing’ phase. I think that’s shown in the results: we got four wins instead of one; we scored 10 goals instead of five, so we doubled our goals; we gave up about the same, so we want to continue to reduce our goals conceded, although we gave up 11 goals in three games, so those three games threw the average off a little bit … We were pretty stingy all the other games, but we need to continue to have clean sheets and be tougher to play against defensively.”

Again, the first test of the third quarter comes in the form of FC Cincinnati this Saturday night, on the road at TQL Stadium, just about 300 miles northeast of GEODIS Park, where the Revs last found road success and kicked off what is now their winning streak. When they touch down, it will be all eyes on Carles Gil to see if he can continue his hot streak and keep the team in their winning ways.