NEW YORK, N.Y. / FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil has been named the 2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player. The Spaniard earns the league’s highest individual honor after captaining the Revolution to the club’s first Supporters’ Shield title and all-time MLS points record with a league-best 18 assists.
“It is an honor for me to be named the MLS Most Valuable Player,” Gil said. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me, everyone who works at the club, our coaching staff, our fans, and especially my teammates. Together, we achieved an unforgettable regular season.”
The two-time MLS Best XI selection began the 2021 season on a historic pace with 10 assists through 10 games, matching the best start to a campaign in league history. His league-high 18 assists on the year, tied for the 10th most in any MLS season, included eight game-winning helpers to equal the league record. Gil scored four goals 2021 and finished the season tied for the eighth most goal involvements with 22. He also paced the league with 130 chances created, the highest total in the 11 seasons that Opta has tracked the statistic.
The Spaniard’s efforts drove the Revolution to the best regular season in MLS history with a league-record 73 points and 2.15 points per game, earning the original MLS club’s first Supporters’ Shield title. Catalyzed by Gil’s playmaking in the midfield, New England’s attack led MLS with 65 goals and 70 assists, both club records. The Revolution were 12-1-3 in the 16 games when Gil recorded either a goal or an assist. In total, he contributed to 10 game-winning goals – assisting eight with two winning tallies of his own – en route to 10 MLS Team of the Week selections and June’s MLS Player of the Month honors.
Gil joins elite company as only the second Revolution player to win MLS MVP honors, joining Taylor Twellman in 2005. With Gil’s MVP honor, the 2021 New England Revolution join the 2000 Kansas City Wizards as the only two MLS teams to boast the league MVP (Gil), Coach of the Year (Bruce Arena), and Goalkeeper of the Year (Matt Turner). The Revolution are the first team to have all three awards won by different individuals, as Tony Meola won both MVP and Goalkeeper of the Year honors for the Wizards in 2000.
In addition to the MLS MVP award, Gil’s expansive collection of accolades since arriving in New England in 2019 now includes two MLS Best XI selections (2019, 2021), 2021 MLS Comeback Player of the Year, 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year, and two Revolution Team MVP honors (2019, 2021). Gil is the first player since Tony Meola in 2000 to earn both Comeback Player of the Year and MLS MVP honors in the same season.
The Landon Donovan MLS MVP award has been presented since 1996 to the individual determined by a poll of players, club technical staff and the media to be the most valuable to his club. Below is a breakdown of the voting results for 2021.
Carles Gil’s 2021 Season Highlights:
- Named Landon Donovan MLS MVP in addition to earning his second MLS Best XI selection and Comeback Player of the Year Honors.
- Led MLS with 18 assists including eight game-winning helpers, tied for the most all-time.
- Logged 22 combined goals and assists – tied for eighth most in MLS – across 28 appearances.
- Recorded 130 chances created, the most in a season since Opta began tracking the statistic in 2011.
- Opened the 2021 season with 10 assists over his first 10 games played, matching the MLS record for most assists to start a season.
- New England registered a 12-1-3 record in the 16 games when Gil recorded a goal or an assist.
- Named MLS Player of the Month for June, when he collected five assists in three starts.
- Recorded two assists in New England’s Eastern Conference Semifinal match against New York City, setting a new club record for career postseason assists.
- In May, signed a multi-year contract extension with New England through the 2024 season.
Landon Donovan MLS MVP winners:
- 2021: Carles Gil – New England Revolution
- 2020: Alejandro Pozuelo – Toronto FC
- 2019: Carlos Vela – Los Angeles Football Club
- 2018: Josef Martinez – Atlanta United FC
- 2017: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
- 2016: David Villa – New York City FC
- 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
- 2014: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy
- 2013: Mike Magee – Chicago Fire
- 2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
- 2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
- 2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
- 2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
- 2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
- 2006: Christian Gomez – D.C. United
- 2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
- 2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
- 2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
- 2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
- 2001: Alex Pineda Chacon – Miami Fusion
- 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
- 1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
- 1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
- 1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
- 1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny