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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.

The MLS 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, with Gil finishing narrowly ahead of LA Galaxy striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi:

Voting Results
Players
Clubs
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