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FOXBOROUGH — Carles Gil is not ready to go all out just yet. But having him available at any speed Saturday should be a major boost for the Revolution when they meet New York City FC.

“Not 100 percent but I’m feeling better and better,” Gil said after a recent practice. “And I’m hoping in two or three weeks I will be even better.”

After sustaining a sports hernia injury during the Revolution’s 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on July 31, Gil missed six games, traveling to Spain for treatment. He returned for a 27-minute stint last week as the Revolution played shorthanded in holding off the Philadelphia Union, 1-0.


Gil survived some rough treatment from the Union, but helped maintain possession and sparked the Revolution counterattack

“It is normal in futbol,” Gil said of the Union’s tactics. “It’s a strong league, strong players. I play in a position where other teams don’t want me to receive the ball, so it’s normal sometimes to have some kicks.”

Union defender Kai Wagner added what appeared to be some gratuitous contact that went undetected by officials.

“It’s futbol, too,” said Gil, who combines English and Spanish in lengthy interviews. “They want to win the game. They are a big team, a competitive team. They like to win and the last two years they did very well.”

The Revolution (16-4-4, 52 points) went 5-1-1 without Gil in the starting lineup, retaining their lead in the Supporters Shield standings and moving within a victory of the team record set in 2005.

Two weeks ago, NYC FC (10-7-4, 34 points) handed the Revolution their only defeat in the last two months, a 2-0 result, presenting a midfield that matches the Revolution technically, though Maxi Moralez (suspended) will be missing Saturday.

“They have good players and they want to keep the ball, have possession,” Gil said of NYC FC. “Us too, so we will try to find space to play behind them and score goals, and try to defend good, too. We lost two weeks ago against them [but] we have a big opportunity to get 3 points and continue on top so, hopefully, we’ll have a good game and win.”


Gil, who leads the league with 15 assists, played a key role in a 3-2 win over NYC FC at Red Bull Arena in June and missed the Revolution’s Aug. 28 loss at Yankee Stadium. Gil said he was injured early in the Revolution-Red Bulls game in July, but went on to provide two assists before going down as Adam Buksa redirected his shot for the deciding goal in stoppage time.

“I felt a little pain in the first minute,” Gil said of the Red Bulls’ game. “It was a muscle problem. I tried to work on it in the gym but then I went to Spain and they helped me rehab. These are people I have confidence in, we’ve worked together for many years. It made sense to work with Jose [Castro], my personal trainer, and everything went well.”

The Revolution are anticipating the return of Tajon Buchanan, Buksa, and goalkeeper Matt Turner from World Cup qualifying and, possibly, Gustavo Bou from an undisclosed injury. Buchanan scored twice for Canada, Buksa had four goals for Poland, and Turner extended his unbeaten streak in goal to 10 games (8-0-2) for the US, though he had a 568-minute shutout streak snapped.


A year after compiling their second-worst home record, the Revolution have regained home-field advantage, compiling a 9-1-1 record and five-game (4-0-1) unbeaten streak at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution have scored a league-best 45 goals (1.88 per game); NYC FC is second, averaging 1.76.

“I think we match up well at home,” Revolution forward Teal Bunbury said. “It’s tough playing at Yankee Stadium — hate to talk about excuses because they have to play on that field, also, but it’s not an easy place to play. So I think playing at home is going to be to our advantage. But we’ve got to make sure we start strong and I think that’s been our Achilles’ heel this year, is not starting strong. Even though we have fought back some games and come from behind and all that, to be a top team those are things we have to be sharp in.”

This could be a playoff preview, the Revolution hoping to position themselves for home-field action in the postseason. The Revolution have played host to only one playoff game since 2014.

“I think the attitude, the chemistry, has shifted to more of a winning culture,” Bunbury said. “That’s no knock on anybody, that’s where we’re at right now. But I don’t think we can be satisfied with where we’re at. Up to this point we haven’t won anything. We’re doing well, we’re winning games, but the ultimate goal is making it to the playoffs, having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and winning the championship.”


Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.