FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution head coach Brad Friedel said earlier this week that the club's technical staff had been working diligently on making "a couple more additions" to the squad, and on Wednesday afternoon, the Revs delivered as Carles Gil was unveiled as a Designated Player.
The Revs officially acquire the attacking midfielder from Spanish side Deportivo de La Coruña, pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa. New England paid a transfer fee to Deportivo de La Coruña for the 26-year-old - who signed a multi-year contract with the Revolution - and the club is confident that he will make an instant impact in the final third.
“He’s very technical on the ball and he’s a creator,” said Revolution General Manager Michael Burns. “He’s an attacking midfielder, a number-10 type player. I think he’s going to add a dimension to our team that we don’t currently have and hopefully make all the players around him a little bit better.
“In terms of what he’s able to do, his vision, his technique (and) his ability to distribute the ball, that’s what he’s known for and that’s what we’re hoping he brings to us.”
Gil’s wealth of experience across multiple high-caliber European leagues will bring a fresh perspective to the squad. He most recently spent more than two years with Deportivo de La Coruña in La Liga and La Liga 2, and previously played two seasons in the Premier League with Aston Villa. Across all competitions in eight professional seasons, Gil has made 182 appearances and registered 13 goals along with 14 assists.
To top it off, both the team and Gil are anxious to hit the ground running. Burns has been working hand-in-hand with Friedel and Director of Scouting & Player Personnel Remi Roy to get the signing over the finish line for a few months. This will be the Valencia, Spain native’s first time playing in Major League Soccer - and his first time playing outside Europe - and the excitement for his move to New England is mutual for both parties.
“We’ve had multiple conversations with him and he’s really excited about coming here, so that’s really important to us when we’re talking to players and recruiting players, and ultimately signing players,” said Burns. “I don’t want to put too many expectations on him, but we’re planning on him being a big piece for us. The fact that he is really excited about coming here and playing in MLS, and playing for New England, mattered an awful lot to us.”
While the first team trains in Marbella, Spain, it presents the eager Revs newcomer with a unique opportunity. Typically most players can’t join the squad until they've acquired their P-1 Visa, and as a result they don't join the team until they arrive in the U.S. However, in this rare case, Gil can actually train with the team while his P-1 Visa is being worked on since the Revs are coincidentally in Spain.
“Hopefully if everything goes perfectly, he’ll be able to come back with us on the eighth of February and continue on,” said Burns. “We’ll have to work through some of that stuff, but we are excited that he’s able to join us immediately.”
Gil has already arrived in Marbella and he could join his new teammates on the field as early as Thursday.
The timing should make for a seamless transition for the midfielder. Since Gil was in the midst of the La Liga season prior to joining the Revolution, he's already in top physical condition and should be able to effortlessly integrate into the squad during preseason.