They haven’t played together for very long, but if the early returns from the partnership between the New England Revolution’s Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou are an indication of what’s to come, the Revs’ dynamic new duo could be on its way to providing some historically gaudy numbers.
Since Bou made his team debut on July 17, the two have torn apart MLS defenses to the tune of nine goals and seven assists between them in just seven games. Gil has played the role of the provider, with six of those seven dimes in addition to his four goals, while Bou has been finishing off his chances at an elite level, netting his first five MLS goals over that stretch.
Overall, the pair has the Revs averaging a blistering 1.83 goals per 90 minutes when they’re on the field together, which would put them at third in MLS stretched over the course of an entire season. The Revs will be hoping that will continue when they face Toronto FC on Saturday in a critical matchup as both teams try to stay above the playoff line (7:30 pm ET | TSN1/4 — Full TV & streaming info).
“I think good players have ways of adjusting quickly to each other,” Revs head coach Bruce Arena said at training on Tuesday. “I’ve seen that in the past with many teams that I’ve had. It’s pretty natural. Good players have a lot in common. They have similar thoughts and ideas on the game, so it makes it a lot easier when they step on the field and play together, although they haven’t been together that long.”
Still, the speed at which the duo have learned each other’s tendencies and established that chemistry has been impressive, and it’s not lost on their Revs teammates.
"I think you see them two and you think that they've been playing [together] for years,” said midfielder Diego Fagundez. “I think we all know what they can do and what they bring to the table, so we just have to play around them.”
Gil has been doing this all year, as the dynamic Spaniard has quickly established himself as one of the league’s top playmakers in his first MLS campaign, logging nine goals and 12 assists through 27 matches.
But Bou’s infusion seems to have taken his game, and the Revs as a whole, to the next level. Since that July 17 debut, New England have gone unbeaten in six of their past seven matches and scored 16 goals over that stretch – the only loss being a 2-0 defeat to juggernaut LAFC at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 3.
“We’re definitely happy to have him,” Gil said of his new teammate. “He’s an extraordinary player. He definitely brings a different dimension to our attacking front. He’s scoring a lot of goals for us, giving us a lot of points. Certainly if he was here since the beginning of the year, I can see him being a player that can score more than 20 goals in a season because he’s proven it over the last few games. We’re delighted to have him in the team. He’s a great player, very talented.”
Added Bou: “"The locker room welcomed me with open arms. I think that was a key for getting a lot of confidence to come into a new locker room. I didn't really know any of the players, but I've integrated well into the group. I've added great value over the last few games. That's what I hope to do and thankfully I'm doing it.”
The scary thing is that they’re just getting started. As Arena pointed out, talented players can often find a way to mesh quickly, but as they log more games together, there’s reason to believe that the chemistry will only become enhanced.