As the New England Revolution begin Phase 1 of the revised 2020 MLS regular season, they'll most certainly be without Carles Gil. The 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year had surgery on his left Achilles tendon in early August, and now faces an anticipated recovery period of three-to-five months.
But head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena doesn't expect to look abroad for a replacement during the MLS Secondary Transfer Window, which runs from Aug. 12 through Oct. 29. The Revolution currently have the maximum three Designated Players, with forwards Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa carrying that tag alongside Gil.
"I think he was hurt in the second half of the D.C. United game (on July 17), when he went down," Arena said of Gil, who played the first game-and-a-half for New England at the MLS is Back Tournament. "We’ve had two full games without him and half a game. We’ve made the adjustments in our team.
"Are we going to do anything in the transfer market to replace him? No, I don’t believe so. We’re at three Designated Players at the moment. We wanted to strengthen our team a little bit with a No. 6. We brought in Matt Polster. There could be a trade or two in the league. But I don’t anticipate us looking outside the league in this transfer window. But having said that, things can change.”
The Revs begin Phase 1 with a home match Aug. 21 (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada) against the Philadelphia Union. The Union eliminated New England from the MLS is Back Tournament in the Round of 16, a 1-0 decision that was decided by Sergio Santos' second-half strike.
The rematch will start New England's run of six games across 23 days. Like when Gil missed the first two games of 2020 with a foot injury, the Revs will have to contend without the Spaniard. He had 10 goals and 14 assists in 2019, and now final-third solutions are expected to come from within.
"Carles is not a factor at this point in terms of depth, the number of games and all of that," Arena said. "It’s going to be very challenging with the travel, with the limited number of rest days between games. A lot of players are going to be called on. We have a little bit of that experience from the tournament, hopefully that pays some dividends."