FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Major League Soccer announced the finalists for 2021 MLS Year-End Awards on Monday, featuring five members of the Supporters’ Shield-winning New England Revolution in contention for individual honors.
Headlining the group is midfielder Carles Gil, who has been named a finalist for Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player and MLS Comeback Player of the Year. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner has been named a finalist for the Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, while midfielder Tajon Buchanan is a finalist for AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year. Rounding out New England’s nominees is Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena who is a finalist for the Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year, an award he has won three times previously – tied for the most all-time.
MLS Year-End Award winners will be announced over the coming weeks, culminating in the presentation of the MLS MVP award in early December during the week of MLS Cup.
The top-seeded New England Revolution have a bye in Round One of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, beginning this weekend, before facing the winner of New York City FC and Atlanta United FC, the fourth and fifth seeds in the Eastern Conference, respectively, in the Eastern Conference Semifinal round on Tuesday, November 30 at Gillette Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET – FS1 and FOX Deportes).
Gil, the 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year, was recently named the Revolution Team MVP for the second time in three seasons with the club. Gil finished the 2021 season as the league leader in assists (18), one shy of New England’s club record, while the Spaniard’s 130 chances created set a new league mark. Gil’s eight game-winning assists for the Supporters’ Shield winners tied the MLS single-season record. He also led MLS in big chances created (25), chances created from open play (81), and chances created from set play (49), among other categories. Gil earned 2021 Comeback Player of the Year consideration after missing nearly the entire 2020 campaign with a bone spur injury on his foot.
Turner, one year removed from his 2020 Revolution Team MVP Award, has been named an MLS Goalkeeper of the Year finalist for a second straight season after finishing second in last year’s voting. The 27-year-old finished the 2021 campaign with 17 wins, a new club record and tied for the league lead. According to American Soccer Analysis, Turner allowed 7.30 fewer goals than expected, second best in the league. Through four seasons as New England’s starter, Turner has amassed 21 clean sheets and ranks among the top three in club history in wins (3rd - 41), saves (3rd - 339), goals against average (2nd - 1.32), and winning percentage (1st - .583).
Buchanan enjoyed a breakout season, his third in MLS, as he finished with career highs in games played (27), starts (19), goals (8), and assists (5). Named the Best Young Player at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, Buchanan tallied goals in four consecutive MLS matches between Aug. 14 and Sept. 11. The 22-year-old Canadian international, who will join Belgian champions Club Brugge KV after the season, finished fourth in MLS with 25 fouls won in the final third.
Arena claimed his league-leading fourth Supporters’ Shield title and his third 20-win season in MLS as he guided the Revolution to a new single-season points record (73). With 22 wins, equaling the most ever in the post-shootout era, Arena matched the Coach of the Year Award’s namesake, Sigi Schmid, for the most regular season victories in MLS history (240). With a 38-15-23 record with the Revolution, Arena’s .607 career winning percentage stands as the second best in MLS history. He enters the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs as the league’s all-time leader in postseason victories (35), playoff games coached (54), and MLS Cup titles (5).
Pay-as-We-Play playoff ticket packages and single-game tickets for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs are on sale now. The Revolution’s Pay-as-We-Play playoff packages offer savings up to 27 percent off box office prices and include seats for the MLS Cup final, should New England advance to the championship match. Visit RevolutionSoccer.net/Tickets, call 1-877-GET-REVS, or email email@example.com today to purchase tickets today.
The full list of 2021 MLS Year-End Awards finalists is available HERE.