There’s been some ambiguity about Carles Gil’s availability for the New England Revolution’s Round of 16 match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night (10:30 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports) and beyond.
And Revs coach Bruce Arena wasn't about to provide any clarity in a conference call with reporters Thursday.
“He’s unlikely to play on Saturday. That would be his status,” Arena said of Gil, who missed the Revs' first two games of the season in March with a foot injury.
“Those are things you don’t have control over. Every team has injuries, suspensions, what have you. If it happens, you just get on with it,” Arena added. “We played against Toronto on Tuesday without Carles and if we need to play on Saturday without him that’s the way you go on and do your business in sports. Unfortunately, I don’t have control of injuries, and timeframes and coming back and all of that. So we’re just going to go about doing our business every day and if we get him back, we get him back.”
The influential Spanish midfielder was seen wearing a walking boot during the club’s final group stage match. It was a sight tough to handle for his teammates.
“We were sad for Carles,” forward Gustavo Bou said in Spanish. “At the start we didn’t know how serious it was, but to see him in a boot the other day in the trainings, it’s very sad for any player as a teammate. Obviously we miss him. We all know the class of a player he is and what he brings to the team. We need to understand that he’s not going to be on the team. And the team will do its best so that we don’t miss him too much on the field.”
With our without Gil, the Revs know they need to improve in the attacking third as they head into the Round of 16. They scored just two goals in their three group stages matches.
“In any game, you need to finish games the right way,” Arena said. “We failed to do that against D.C. United. And you have to finish your chances. We haven’t done that on a consistent basis in group play. So hopefully we get a few breaks in our next game and can put the ball in the back of the net a couple of times.”
“It’s getting better every day so that the chances we‘re getting we can finish them,” added Bou. “The whole team is working on this. … What I highlight is the chances are there. We need to work on the finishing, but continuing to insist the goals will be there.”
The team’s motto in Orlando, according to goalkeeper Matt Turner, has been finishing — both in terms of chances and as it relates to games.
“Against Toronto we had chances to finish and score some goals. And against D.C. we were up 1-0 and had a chance to finish that game off and made critical errors,” he said. “That’s disappointing and if you look back even further against Montreal and against Chicago [in March] we had chances to win. … We’ve been in position to really put ourselves higher up the table and haven’t done so. That’s the frustrating part. We expect better from us.”
The Union have steadily improved since 2014 under manager Jim Curtin. However, Arena said there’s nothing specifically unique about how Philadelphia play, and that his strategy for defeating them is simple. At least that's as much as he's willing to tell the public.
“I know they’ve done a good job. I’ve watched them play over the past year. They have a good team,” Arena said. “How do you beat them? You score more goals than they do I guess is the best answer I can give you.”