FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Three games is an admittedly small sample size, but 270 minutes into his New England Revolution career, Carles Gil has been as advertised.
The diminutive Spaniard has scored all three of the Revolution’s goals this season, including the first brace of his career in last weekend’s loss in Toronto. In doing so, Gil became just the third player in club history – joining Taylor Twellman in 2007 and Zack Schilawski in 2010 – to score three goals through the first three games of a campaign.
Gil’s exploits have already earned the adulation of fans and the respect of national media, but there is perhaps no group more impressed with the 26-year-old’s abilities than his teammates.
“He’s extremely confident on the ball,” said Teal Bunbury, who won the penalty that led to Gil’s first goal in Toronto. “He wants to show up in any area of the field. I think he’s most lethal when he’s getting the ball facing the goal that we’re attacking, and he can find those seams and those gaps.”
“He looks forward to guys making runs, whether it’s a winger darting across or a forward making a slashing run. Him getting on the ball in the attacking third is going to be huge for us this year.”
Gil has gotten on the ball in the attacking third more often than most through three games, and it has everything to do with his work rate. He plays a significant role in New England’s pressing system, as evidenced by the fact that he’s tied for the league lead with eight possessions won in the attacking third.
Also tied for sixth league-wide with 50 successful passes into the final third, Gil has been a key ingredient in the Revolution’s ability to possess the ball in the attacking phase of the game. It’s in those attacking areas that New England will need to find Gil on the ball as often as possible.
“I think we need to get him the ball more,” Diego Fagundez said of Gil. “When he has the ball, we need to do a lot of movements so he can find us. I think, little by little, we’re getting our chemistry together. I think probably in the next couple of games, you’re going to see a big difference.”
The implication that Gil is still developing chemistry with his teammates will excite Revolution fans, who’ve already seen enough from the Premier League and La Liga veteran to warrant his Designated Player tag. His passion, which was on full display this past weekend in Toronto, has also endeared him to fans.
Gil’s next opportunity to show that passion will be on Sunday afternoon when the Revs will host expansion side FC Cincinnati for the first time at Gillette Stadium (4 p.m., TICKETS).