Carles Gil

Carles Gil, Revolution teammates eager to pick up where they left off

Carles Gil, Revolution teammates eager to pick up where they left off

In his first season with the New England Revolution, midfielder Carles Gil accomplished more than he could've imagined.

After starting out the 2019 season on a rather sour note, Gil and his teammates quickly turned things around when Bruce Arena was hired as head coach and sporting director in May. The midfielder notched 10 goals and 14 assists through 34 games -- with a majority of those points coming after Arena was hired.

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The Revolution quickly adapted to Arena's style, and were able to make an appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015. Unfortunately, the Revs fell to Atlanta United FC in the first round, but are ready to build upon their second half performance.

“Going into this year, we feel really inspired,” Gil said, according to Jeff Lemieux of revolutionsoccer.net. “We feel we have the pieces in place, and with another year under our belts to kind of know Bruce (Arena), hopefully that all works out well for us.

“I think our number one goal is just to pick up where we left off last year. Obviously we didn’t have a really good start to the season, but we figured things out. Right now, we’re just trying to pick up on the good things we developed last year and reach our goals.”

New England's goals, according to what Arena has noted in the past, have been to improve and be a good team rather than win titles. If they can do that, then the titles will come soon thereafter.

Individually, Gil wants to improve upon his first campaign in the MLS, and he very well could now that he's settled in.

“I know the team, I know the organization, I know the coaches and my teammates,” Gil said. “I also know the league and how things work on that end, so hopefully that works in my favor, and hopefully I can have a better year than the year I had last year.”

After winning the MLS Newcomer of the Year award, MLS Best XI honors, JetBlue Revolution Team MVP, Players' Player of the Year and Midnight Riders Man of the Year in his first season with the Revolution, it'll definitely be interesting to see how things go for the 27-year-old during the upcoming season.

Polish striker Adam Buksa signs with designated player contract with Revolution

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New England Revolution

Polish striker Adam Buksa signs with designated player contract with Revolution

Just when you think the New England Revolution are done making big moves, the club surprises you ... again. The Revs have signed Polish striker Adam Buksa to a designated player contract.  

The 23-year-old comes to New England on a transfer fee that's reportedly the second-largest amount in club history ($4 million according to the Boston Globe). With Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou, whose transfer fee reportedly was $7 million, on the roster, the addition of Buksa marks the first time in team history they've occupied all three designated player slots at the same time. 

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The Revs' newest DP is on the cusp of breaking into Poland's men's national team after getting called up to the senior team in November 2018 for a friendly against the Czech Republic and a UEFA Nations League match against Portugal. 

Buksa, who was linked to clubs in England and Scotland, cites Bruce Arena and the Revs' future as critical factors in his decision to join the team. In an interview with NBC Sports Boston, he said, "I spoke with the coaches of the New England Revolution and it was the most important part for me to choose the New England Revolution because I know the role that I have to play on the team. I know that I will be an important player. I know the ambition of the club."

The Krakow native played in Italy for Novara's junior team when he was 16 before returning to Poland, where he played for Lechia Gdansk, Zaglebie Lubin, and Pogon. For a player who was targeted by multiple leagues in different countries, Buksa said he had been paying attention to MLS. 

"In Poland, the TV shows two games every weekend. I watch some games," Buksa said. "When I got interest from the Revolution, I watched many games of the Revolution and I have to say I really liked the style of the team. I liked the way they played. They have really good technical players like Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou. I am sure we can create many chances and score many goals together and win many games."

At 6-foot-3, Buska will bring a different dimension to the Revs' attack.  With a dangerous left foot and a tall frame, he can score goals in a variety of ways from different areas. His skill set and strengths should mix well with Gil and Bou.  "I'm a target man. I like scoring goals with a header. I like scoring from outside the box, in the box. I feel good in a 1-2 game. So, I am happy to have Carles Gil next to me as well as Gustavo Bou, who are really good players," Buska said of his fellow Designated Players. 

While some fans may not be familiar with Buksa as a player or the Polish top-flight league, the Ekstraklasa, they will know what player he models his game after. That's Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Buksa says, "The best player for me to follow is Robert Lewandowski. In my opinion, he is the best striker in the world. He scores unbelievable goals. This is the one player I really like to follow. I had a chance to train with him during the national team camp before the game against Portugal. He made a huge impression on me."

Revs fans can only hope that some of Lewandowski's world-class game can rub off on Buksa.  At the very least, they can feel good about what Poland has recently produced for strikers.  They boast one of the most lethal strike forces in the word with Lewandowski, as well as Arkadiusz Milik of Napoli and AC Milan's Krzysztof Piatek. Could Buksa be the next? Find out starting Feb. 29 when the Revs open the season against the Montreal Impact.  

How to watch the Revolution's MLS Playoff match vs. Atlanta United

How to watch the Revolution's MLS Playoff match vs. Atlanta United

The New England Revolution return to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015 when they take on defending MLS champion Atlanta United today at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

New England has rallied from the bottom of MLS in May (2-8-2, a league-low eight points) to secure a playoff berth after former US Men's National Team coach Bruce Arena was brought in as head coach and sporting director in May. 

From the hiring of Arena to their playoff-clinching win vs New York City FC Sept. 29, the Revs went  9-2-10 in a 21-game stretch, including an 11-game unbeaten streak this summer.

The Revs' Carles Gil was named MLS Newcomer of the Year after he led the team in goals (10) and assists (14)  and another recent signee, Gustavo Bou, has nine goals in his past 14 games, fourth-most in MLS in that span. 

It'll be a rematch of the regular-season finale, won by Atlanta United, 3-1, but that came after the Revs had clinched a playoff spot. The atmosphere, with a sellout crowd of 70,000 filling the stadium, figures to be much more intense and history isn't on New England's side. The Revs are 0-4-2 all-time against Atlanta and 0-3-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Here's how to watch the playoff matchup:

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Boston
On the web: NBCSportsBoston.com 

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