Carles Gil led MLS with 18 assists. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
NEW YORK – Major League Soccer Wednesday announced that New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil was named its comeback player of the year.
Gil, a vital part of the Revs’ success, dished out a league-high 18 assists and added four goals as New England won the Supporters’ Shield.
Forced to sit out the majority of the shortened 2020 campaign due to a bone spur injury near his left heel, Gil led MLS in assists in playing 28 matches a year later, guiding Revs to their most prolific season. The Revs were 12-1-3 in the 16 matches in which Gil recorded a goal or an assist.
Seizing the spotlight early and often, Gil was named to the MLS team of the week on 10 occasions during the 35-week regular season. His comeback player of the year bid was solidified after the Spaniard recorded eight assists during a span of five matches early in the year – all victories. Gil collected 10 assists in the opening 10 games of the year – matching the MLS record for most assists from the start of a season.
Gil’s success led New England to its strongest regular season in the MLS Original’s 26-year history, as the Revs won the Supporters’ Shield, the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference for a first round bye, and a berth to the 2022 Concacaf Champions League.
The Revs are set to host an Eastern Conference semifinal in the MLS Cup Playoffs against New York City FC on Nov. 30 6:30 p.m. ET / FS1, FOX Deportes).
The comeback player of the year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
COMEBACK PLAYER PLAYER CLUB MEDIA TOTAL
Gil, Carles (NE) 19.80% 9.10% 16.70% 15.20%
Hernandez, Javier ‘Chicharito’ (LA) 6.30% 12.10% 19.70% 12.70%
Salloi, Daniel (SKC) 8.30% 15.20% 14.30% 12.60%
Blanco, Sebastian (POR) 8.30% 15.20% 9.40% 10.97%
Martinez, Josef (ATL) 7.30% 6.10% 14.30% 9.23%
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners
2021: Carles Gil – New England Revolution
2020: Bradley Wright-Phillips – Los Angeles Football Cub
2019: Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
2018: Gyasi Zardes – Columbus Crew SC
2017: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
2016: Chris Pontius – Philadelphia Union
2015: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers
2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
2011: David Beckham – LA Galaxy
2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
Carles Gil was a driving force behind the New England Revolution’s first-ever Supporters’ Shield crown, and now the Spanish midfielder has earned 2021 MLS Comeback Player of the Year honors, as announced Wednesday by Major League Soccer.
Gil, who had a league-leading 18 assists alongside four goals, sat out the majority of the shortened 2020 campaign due to an Achilles injury. But the Revs’ captain roared back this campaign, helping his team set a new single-season points record (73) while also leading MLS with 117 key passes.
The Designated Player played a crucial role in New England notching their strongest campaign in the club’s 26-year history, as they went 12W-1L-3D across the 16 matches in which Gil recorded a goal or an assist. Gil, who missed six games this year while injured, collected 10 helpers in New England’s opening 10 games – matching the all-time MLS record for most assists from the start of a season.
That all fueled New England earning a spot in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League, supported in attack by forwards Adam Buksa and Gustavo Bou – their two other DPs – and rising Canadian star Tajon Buchanan at winger. The Revs also feature Matt Turner, the 2021 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year who’s part of the US men’s national team.