The Revs are in the midst of a deep playoff run and they're one win away from MLS' biggest stage.
Bruce Arena’s bunch will travel to Columbus to face off against the Crew on Sunday (3p ET) with the winner advancing to MLS Cup.
It has all come together for this team late in the season. Their best players are coming up big. They are the healthiest they've been all season. They are peaking at the right time.
You can thank Carles Gil for that.
A foot injury limited the 28-year-old midfielder to six regular-season games and the Revs stumbled to an 8th-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The Spaniard had Achilles surgery, but just like he usually finds a way past his opponents on the field, he found a way to beat his expected recovery time.
Gil was on the field just 80 days after the procedure, which was expected to sideline him for 3-5 months. Upon his return, the Revs reeled off three straight playoff wins. Connect the dots. Do the math. It's very simple.
Carles = success.
The eye test can tell you what he means to this team. They have more time, space, and creativity in the final third. They look more dangerous. They feel more dangerous. Gil has opened up the attacking game for everyone on the field, especially for Adam Buska. The Polish striker struggled without quality service throughout the regular season, but in the past two games, the tall forward scored one header and had two other chances hit the woodwork. All three balls were served up on a platter by Gil.
His teammates and coaches can tell you what he means to this team.
"With a healthy Carles Gil, we think we have the best player in MLS," said goalkeeper Matt Turner.
“He’s an outstanding player. I’ve had a lot of good midfield players or playmakers, and Carles is right up there with all of them,” Arena said.
Stats can tell you what he means to this team. The Revs have won all three playoff games with Gil directly factoring in five of the seven postseason goals. He also help set up another but the box score isn't going to show you that. Without him on the field this regular season, this club was about a .500 team (6W-5L-6T).
Where would the Revs be if they had Gil in the regular season? Who knows. Where would the Revs be if they didn't have Gil right now?
I know. Home.