New England Revolution winger Cristian Penilla has been a staple in New England’s starting XI since he joined in 2018. Here are five fast facts about the 28-year-old Ecuadorian that you may not know.
1. Dos Caicedos
While most fans refer to him as Penilla, the winger has four names within his full formal title: Cristian Anderson Penilla Caicedo. Coincidentally one of these names happens to overlap with Penilla’s Revolution teammate, Luis Caicedo, creating a unique connection between the New England duo.
2. Impressive International
Penilla’s inaugural season with the Revolution was extremely memorable. He scored the most goals by any international signing in their first year in New England, with 12 total goals. Penilla augmented his 12 goals with seven assists on the season, ultimately earning him the Revolution 2018 Golden Boot award. In fact, Penilla was tied for the third-most goals among all MLS newcomers in 2018.
3. Accruing Accolades
Penilla not only led the team in goals (12) in 2018, but he also paced the Revolution in appearances (33), starts (33), minutes played (2,816), shots (95), and shots on goal (38). These stats on the field earned him the respect of both his teammates and Revolution supporters, as he earned the 2018 JetBlue Team MVP and Players’ Player of the Year.
4. Magician Moves
Although just two games were played in 2020 prior to the league suspending matches, Penilla provided one of the most memorable moments. Along with his goal-scoring prowess and quick feet, he’s learned a few other tricks like taking down a defender without any direct contact. He’s basically a magician.
5. Translating Ties
Penilla is primarily a Spanish speaker in the locker room. Luckily, there are several Revs players who continue to assist the Ecuadorian by bridging any language barriers. In particular, teammate Andrew Farrell has been spotted helping Penilla by translating speeches in the locker room.
You can see the duo in the background during head coach Bruce Arena's first-ever speech addressing the team.