FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – As Carles Gil proudly accepted the 2021 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award after a phenomenal season, leading the Revs to the club’s first Supporters’ Shield title and a new MLS single-season points record (73) with a league-best 18 assists, his emotions laid bare just how much the honor meant to him.

“For me, it means a lot, especially after the 2020 season where I had a tough injury, and we all went through that pandemic,” said Gil. “I was very inspired coming into this season to see my teammates and the collection of players that we have here.

“We realized after the 2020 season that we’re a championship-caliber team. We’re a great team. We showed that this regular season when there were more games. And the loss the other night will help motivate us going into next season.”

Gil’s talent, skill and leadership will continue to impact the team moving forward into the 2022 season, as it has since he first signed with the squad in 2019.

“On a daily basis, Carles sets an example and his leadership is critically important,” said sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena. “When you think about the Revolution, when he arrived in 2019, we were at the bottom of the league. And in a short period of time, until recently, we were the best regular season team in the history of MLS. And Carles is certainly responsible for the tremendous progress we’ve made with our club.”

What was perhaps most memorable about Gil’s acceptance speech for the MVP award was the pride he took in all of the coaches, players, staff and supporters who were with him every step of the process.

“Fans, thank you so much for your respect and your support since I arrived here to Boston,” said Gil. “We had an amazing season together here in Gillette, many wins, incredible nights, and we did the best season ever together. So, thank you for your support. And also, thank you, last week, against New York City. Thank you for the support. It was incredible.

“Of course, we didn’t have the result that we wanted, but I’m sure that we will have many nights like last week, for sure with a different result.”

As Gil progressed into his final thank you, his eyes started to tear. He was addressing his teammates, the group of men who worked tirelessly alongside him with a consistent effort all year to aid the Revs in their record-breaking campaign, and Gil’s MVP season.

“And now for me, for the most special and important people, my teammates,” said Gil. “Thank you so much. Thank you, because you helped me a lot. Thank you, because it’s a pleasure for me to train and play with you, every day. And you make the difference for winning this trophy, for sure. So, thank you so much.”

From the moment Gil joined New England in 2019, the players made him feel as if it were home when he took a leap of faith joining MLS.

“Well, for me, they’re the most important aspect here,” said Gil. “My first day, Andrew [Farrell] helped me with my translations. At that moment, my English wasn’t very good. I adapted quickly and felt right at home. I’ve lived some great moments with my teammates and it’s amazing being around them.

“I get emotional seeing the guys who play less minutes, celebrate our goals and wins, and that’s so important for me. They made all the difference. This season, we’ve had so many games, injuries, and national team call ups this year and we never took a step back. And that says a lot about the collection of guys that we have here.”

Gil's teammates were in fact the ones who told the playmaker he had officially won the MLS MVP award, as they surprised him with a special dinner to recognize the accomplishment.

With roster relationships that are so much deeper than just playing on the field, it's true friendship that has made Gil's historic and MVP season all the more more meaningful.