After returning from an Achilles injury that cost him much of the season, Gil was electric in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, scoring two goals, dishing out three assists and helping the Revs make it to the doorstep of MLS Cup before they bowed out with a 1-0 defeat to Columbus Crew SC in the Eastern Conference Final.
It was a disappointing ending, but it also left plenty of room to ponder what the team's ceiling could be with the big three of Gil, Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa all consistently healthy and another offseason for head coach Bruce Arena and the front office to bolster the roster around them. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Gil said he's confident in the direction the club is headed.
“I think it’s clear. The team’s progress is evident," Gil said. "We keep taking steps forward. After a tough start last year, we were able to make the playoffs. This year we reached the conference final. The idea is to continue taking steps forward and become a championship team. We know we have to work hard to but I think we’re on our way.”
With a player as dynamic as Gil, there will naturally be questions as to whether they plan on staying in MLS long term, or if they have an eye on an eventual move overseas. In Gil's case, he came to the Revs after stints in his native Spain and England.
For his part, Gil said you can never be sure what might happen in the fast-moving world of pro soccer, but stressed the degree to which he's been enjoying the game during his time with the Revs.
“I’m not sure. I’ve spent some years as a professional now and one thing I’ve learned is that you have to live moment to moment in soccer," Gil said, "You never know what’s going to happen. I’ve said many times that I never thought I’d come here to play in MLS and here I am. I want to enjoy every moment. I’m still young. I have many years ahead of me and we’ll see what happens.
“I wanted to enjoy my game again. I came from a period where for one reason or another I wasn’t enjoying things for a few years," he added. "I came here to gain some confidence and I’m very happy of the decision I made. Individually, despite the injury, I was able to perform well. Hopefully I can continue at this level and above all help the team, which is what’s most important.”
For now, Gil said his focus is on helping New England take that step from a playoff team to a championship one, building off the groundwork that they continued to establish with this season's run to the East Final.
“Like I’ve said before, we have to keep taking steps forward," Gil said. "I think this year was very important for us. I think heading into next year it’s clear that we should intend to finish at the top of the league and have a home-field advantage, which is very important in the playoffs. We want to surpass what we accomplished this year, reach the final, and intend to win it.”