Gil 'practically at 100 percent' as Revs enter playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
A grand total of 250 minutes.
That's all that the New England Revolution's three Designated Players -- Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa, and Carles Gil -- have played together this entire season.
But the best news for the Revs as they ready for their Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoff opener on Friday night against the Montreal Impact is that the trio is set to make its third consecutive appearance together.
Thankfully, Gil has returned faster than expected from surgery on his left Achilles tendon -- and after missing 15 straight matches between July and October, he has played in four straight contests, including a 90-minute effort against Philadelphia on Decision Day. And now he's raring to go for the Revs' playoff opener.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to return ahead of schedule in time for the end of the regular season,” Gil said via a translator earlier this week. “I didn’t play a lot in the first few games and there were a lot of games in a short period of time. I’ve been able to train, which is what I needed to find my rhythm. I knew that the first few games would be tough. I felt good in Philadelphia. The past few days have been great. I feel as though I’m practically at 100 percent.”
That's great news for Bruce Arena's club, which has dealt with a litany of injuries this season -- and not just to Gil.
"The injury to Carles Gil set us back a lot during the regular season," Arena said. "Gustavo's been juggled around in a lot of different positions, which has hurt us. We've been fairly steady with our back line and goalkeeper. That's probably been our only consistency, and then as Carles came back, Gustavo is still just returning from an injury, so we haven't all been on the same page. But I think over the last couple of weeks, we're getting a little bit closer."
Now the Revs have to hope that their health translates into results on the pitch as they seek their first playoff victory since making a run to the 2014 MLS Cup.
Their first test comes Friday night at Gillette Stadium when they face Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference Play-In Round -- with a victory sending New England onto a Round One matchup against either Toronto FC or the top-seeded Philadelphia Union.
“After all this up and down this year and how crazy it’s been, why not keep putting in the effort? We’ve been doing it throughout this whole time and now it’s win or go home, and I don’t want to go home," said Revs defender Andrew Farrell. "So for me, that’s my motivation, I want to keep on playing, compete for trophies, and I want to win games."
New England has some history working in its favor. The Revs own a 12-game playoff unbeaten run at Gillette Stadium, with their last loss coming way back in 2002, and they've won their last three matches against the Impact, scoring seven goals over those games.
One of those games took place during the MLS is Back Tournament in July, with Gil assisting on Bou's game-winner -- and now that both players are healthy and ready to go again, the Revs are hoping for a similar result.
"We're in the most important part of the season," Gil said. "We can't fail. We're at home. We'd be deceiving ourselves if we get eliminated on Friday."