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Club captain, assist king and the man with the magic left foot. New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil has been named the 2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player, as announced Tuesday, after leading his team to their first Supporters’ Shield upon setting a new single-season points record.

Gil paced MLS with 18 assists in 2021, equaling the 10th-most in a single season during the league’s 26-year history. Eight of those helpers were game-winning assists, plus he netted four goals as New England reached 73 points to top the Eastern Conference and book a 2022 Concacaf Champions League spot.

This is the 29-year-old Spaniard’s latest honor after also being named 2021 MLS Comeback Player of the Year and 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year. Since arriving three seasons ago as a Designated Player, he’s twice earned MLS Best XI honors (2019, 2021).

As a measure of Gil’s true impact, the Revs went 12W-1L-3D across the 16 regular-season matches in which Gil recorded a goal or an assist. His 10 assists in the opening 10 games of the year matched the all-time MLS record for most assists from the start of a season.

During the 35-week 2021 campaign, Gil was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi on 10 different occasions and earned June’s MLS Player of the Month honors.

Gil becomes the second consecutive Spain native to win MVP and the third since 2016 (David Villa/NYCFC, 2016; Alejandro Pozuelo/Toronto, 2020). Gil is the second Revolution player to be named MVP since Taylor Twellman earned the honor in 2005.

Prior to signing with the Revs, Gil’s career consisted of top-flight soccer in Spain and England with Valencia CF, Elche CF and Aston Villa FC. The playmaker joined New England in 2019 after featuring for Deportivo La Coruña.

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

Below is a breakdown of the voting results for 2021, with Gil finishing ahead of Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar and Seattle Sounders FC midfielder João Paulo.

Voting Results
Players
Clubs
Media
TOTAL
Gil, Carles (NE)
37.00%
57.60%
61.60%
52.07%
Mukhtar, Hany (NSH)
9.90%
15.20%
10.30%
11.80%
Joao Paulo (SEA)
3.10%
9.10%
2.50%
4.90%
Salloi, Daniel (SKC)
4.70%
6.10%
3.40%
4.73%
Castellanos, Valentin (NYC)
4.70%
3.00%
3.90%
3.87%

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