They’ve only played four games together, but Arnor Traustason likes what he sees from Carles Gil.
The two attackers combined in the 63rd minute of Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Union when Gil found Traustason on the left flank. The Icelandic international offered a curling shot that went wide of the frame.
We saw a similar moment in the 75th minute when Gil used one touch to put Traustason in on goal. Andre Blake was there to deny Traustason of his first tally as a member of the New England Revolution.
Gil has played several positions in recent weeks, sometimes starting as an outside midfielder and sometimes starting in the middle. Traustason sees a lot of value in playing Gil in the center.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Traustason noted. “He has a good eye. He’s able to find some guys in those runs that the players are taking, so it’s really nice having him there central.”
Gil first played in the middle this year when the Revs faced Atlanta United on May 1. The team opted for a 4-2-3-1 with Gustavo Bou out with an injury.
When asked after the game about moving Gil inside, head coach Bruce Arena said, “In all honesty, he played tonight the same way he played probably the last two games. He has the freedom to move around. Again, I’m not one of these people that’s big into heat maps. But I imagine if you did a heat map, you would find that Carles probably played more away from the middle of the field than you may think.”
The return of Bou the following week saw Gil start on the right flank against Nashville SC. The team started in a 4-4-2, though other formations were used as the game went on. Gil’s role also changed as he played in different spots.
Four days later, the Revs returned to a 4-2-3-1 with Gil in the middle for the game against the Union. Bou was asked to come off the bench for the midweek affair.
When asked about the formation change, Arena said, “How the 10 field players move dictates your team’s shape and it’s just a starting point. Obviously, we can shift Carles around in different spots. We can utilize other players differently. Just inside this one game tonight, we were playing 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, and 3-4-1-2. So, we don’t get real hung up on the formations. We just try to utilize the players we have as best we can and let them react off the starting points of those formations.”
Regardless of the formation or Gil’s starting point, Traustason is excited to combine with the team captain.
“I’m trying to link up more and more with him, so I think we’re getting there,” Traustason explained.