Media Resources

Carles Gil named 2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player

Spaniard earns highest individual honor after leading New England to record-breaking season

Named Landon Donovan MLS MVP in addition to earning his second MLS Best XI selection and Comeback Player of the Year Honors

MVP Carles Gil Graphic SPA

NEW YORK (December 7, 2021) – Major League Soccer today announced that New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil has been named the 2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player, after driving the Revolution to their first Supporters’ Shield and the all-time MLS single-season points record.

  • Download Carles Gil Media Assets here.
  • Video and photos from today’s MVP event will be available here.
  • Download sizzle video here.

Gil led Major League Soccer with 18 assists in 2021, equaling the 10th-most in a single season in the league’s 26-year history. Gil recorded eight game-winning assists on the campaign, tying the MLS record set three times previously, while also netting four goals on the season. His combined 22 goals and assists for the year tied for eighth-most in the league.

In addition to the MLS MVP award, Gil’s expansive collection of accolades since arriving in New England in 2019 now includes two MLS Best XI selections (2019, 2021), 2021 MLS Comeback Player of the Year, 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year, and two Revolution Team MVP honors (2019, 2021).

Gil amassed 10 assists in the opening 10 games of the year – matching the all-time MLS record for most assists from the start of a season. Making his impact felt, the Revs were 12-1-3 in the 16 regular-season matches in which Gil recorded a goal or an assist.

Gil was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi on 10 different occasions during the 35-week regular season, earned June’s MLS Player of the Month honors, and his MLS Comeback Player of the Year bid was confirmed after he recorded eight assists during a span of just five matches early in the year – all victories for New England.

Gil becomes the second consecutive Spanish native to win MVP and the third since 2016 (David Villa, 2016; Alejandro Pozuelo, 2020). Gil is the second Revolution player to be named MVP since Taylor Twellman earned the honor in 2005. With Gil’s MVP honor, the 2021 New England Revolution join the 2000 Kansas City Wizards as the only two MLS teams to boast the league MVP (Gil), Coach of the Year (Bruce Arena), and Goalkeeper of the Year (Matt Turner). The Revolution are the first team to have all three awards won by different individuals, as Tony Meola won both MVP and Goalkeeper of the Year honors for the Wizards in 2000.

Gil was named MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2019 when he joined the New England Revolution following a transfer from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruña. Prior to signing with the Revs, Gil’s career consisted of top-flight football in Spain and England with Valencia CF, Elche CF and Aston Villa FC.

Gil led the Revolution to the Eastern Conference Semifinals and the best regular season in the club’s 26-year history, culminating in the Revs’ first MLS trophy and an all-time MLS points record of 73 points, topping LAFC’s 72 in 2019.

Gil finished ahead of Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar, who finished second after leading MLS in combined goals and assists, and Seattle Sounders FC midfielder João Paulo, who finished third.

The Landon Donovan MLS MVP award has been presented since 1996 to the individual determined by a poll of players, club technical staff and the media to be the most valuable to his club. Below is a breakdown of the voting results for 2021.

Voting Results
Voting Results
Most Valuable Player
Carles Gil (NE)
Hany Mukhtar (NSH)
João Paulo (SEA)
Daniel Salloi (SKC)
Valentín Castellanos (NYC)

Landon Donovan MLS MVP winners:

  • 2021: Carles Gil – New England Revolution
  • 2020: Alejandro Pozuelo – Toronto FC
  • 2019: Carlos Vela – Los Angeles Football Club
  • 2018: Josef Martínez – Atlanta United FC
  • 2017: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
  • 2016: David Villa – New York City FC
  • 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
  • 2014: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy
  • 2013: Mike Magee – Chicago Fire
  • 2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
  • 2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
  • 2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
  • 2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
  • 2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
  • 2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
  • 2006: Christian Gómez – D.C. United
  • 2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
  • 2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
  • 2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
  • 2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
  • 2001: Alex Pineda Chacon – Miami Fusion
  • 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
  • 1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
  • 1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
  • 1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
  • 1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny