Carles Gil is a bright light of passion in Revolution’s slow start
FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution’s season has been marked by devising ways to lose. A missed penalty kick proved costly in a 2-0 defeat against the Columbus Crew, and a controversial noncall on an offside goal made the difference in a 3-2 loss at Toronto FC on Sunday.
Those results, combined with a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas, leave the Revolution (0-2-1, 1 point) tied for last place in the MLS Eastern Conference going into Sunday’s game against FC Cincinnati.
But there have been positives. The Revolution have started establishing a possession game, with Carles Gil as the attacking point of reference. Gil, a finesse-first left-footer, gives the Revolution a chance to generate offense without relying on turnovers.
Besides playmaking, Gil has been able to convert with defenses seemingly packed in, and by proving his finishing ability, he should continue to open space for teammates.
Gil, who has scored all three Revolution goals this season, is also showing some of the passion that might have been lacking from recent teams. His protest of Toronto’s second goal earned him a caution, though that did not discourage him from continuing to express his opinion while celebrating his equalizer in the second half.
Nor was Gil backing off from his actions, which included commemorating his 52nd-minute goal by making the television-screen sign for a video review, during an interview Tuesday. Gil believed Toronto’s Jay Chapman had been in an offside position before crossing for Jordan Hamilton to finish in first-half added time. But referee Ted Unkel ruled that the Revolution’s Antonio Delamea had attempted to clear the pass to Chapman, negating the offside.
“What happened, from my point of view, was very clear,” Gil said. “I think [the yellow card] was for my reaction in a very crucial moment of the game — the last minute of the half and we go behind, 2-1. It was very difficult for us.”
Gil’s protest was reminiscent of Jermaine Jones contesting an uncalled handling offense during the Revolution’s 2015 postseason, though not as vociferous, and in a situation less dramatic than impending playoff elimination.
Though their backgrounds and styles differ, there are similarities between Gil and Jones. Both were expected to take on leadership roles, partly because of being the team’s highest-paid player (Gil and Jones being the only Revolution players with $2 million-plus contracts).
Like Jones, Gil should have the respect of referees because of his experience. Unlike Jones, should Gil clash with officials, he will display an even temperament, and his lack of English can be more disarming than threatening.
But that did not prevent Unkel from showing Gil a yellow card just before the second-half kickoff in Toronto. And Gil is unlikely to receive much consideration from referees in a league that often favors toughness over technique.
Streaking in Seattle
Raul Ruidiaz extended his scoring streak to eight games over two seasons (including playoffs) with the final goal in Seattle’s 4-2 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Ruidiaz converted in his only Gillette Stadium appearance, though he admitted punching the shot past Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson in Peru’s 1-0 win over the Selecao in the 2016 Copa Centenario. Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha allowed the goal, and Brazil was eliminated, costing Dunga his position as coach.
Reigning MLS Cup champion Atlanta United continued to struggle, rallying for a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Sunday. Atlanta has scored more than one goal in a game only once in seven matches under coach Frank de Boer. Atlanta has totaled eight goals in all competitions, former Providence College star Julian Gressel providing two goals and two assists in five starts.
Costa Ricans Allan Ruiz and Kendall Waston led the way as FC Cincinnati took a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in its MLS home debut before a crowd of 32,250 at Nippert Stadium Sunday. Both Ruiz and Waston have been called in for the Ticos’ matches against Guatemala and Jamaica and will miss Cincinnati’s game against the Revolution. Costa Rica’s roster also includes Alajuelense’s Ariel Lassiter, a former LA Galaxy forward and the son of former US national teamer Roy Lassiter. Cincinnati will also be missing Jamaicans Darren Mattocks and Alvas Powell. The Reggae Boyz roster includes Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake (UConn), IK Start defender Damion Lowe (University of Hartford), and former Revolution defender/midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson.
National Soccer Hall of Fame nominees include former Revolution stars Mike Burns, Steve Ralston, and Taylor Twellman, plus former Boston Minutemen and Harvard goalkeeper Shep Messing. Former Boston Breakers on the list include Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke, Lauren Cheney Holiday, Karina LeBlanc, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez Cox, Heather Mitts, Cat Reddick Whitehill, and Kate Sobrero Markgraf. Named in the Builder category are former Revolution executives Joe Cummings and Sunil Gulati and Connecticut’s Thom Meredith.
Ecuador will be missing forward Enner Valencia against the United States in a friendly match in Orlando Thursday. Valencia (back) was injured playing for Tigres in a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo in a Champions League game last week. The US should be close to full strength. Toronto’s Michael Bradley and the Columbus Crew’s Zack Steffen and Gyasi Zardes, who all made decisive plays against the Revolution in the last two weeks, could be in the starting lineup against Ecuador and/or Chile in Houston next Tuesday . . . Tata Martino, who guided Atlanta United in its first two seasons, will make his debut as Mexico’s coach in “home” matches against Chile in San Diego Thursday and Paraguay in Santa Clara, Calif., next Tuesday. The Tricolor will be missing Porto’s Tecatito Corona (ankle) . . . Colombia appears to be producing coaches for export, including Hernan Dario Gomez (Ecuador), Juan Carlos Osorio (Paraguay), and Reinaldo Rueda (Chile). But the Colombian national team, which visits Japan and South Korea, is guided by Portugal’s Carlos Queiroz.