On August 6th, the New England Revolution announced that midfielder Carles Gil had undergone successful surgery on his left Achilles heel. The Revolution expect Gil to be out of action for an estimated three to five months. Knowing that Gil could miss up to five months it’s likely that the Spanish midfielder will miss the remainder of the 2020 MLS season.
This will force Bruce Arena to make a tough decision as he will need to find a replacement. Here’s who we think should fill in for Carles Gil!
Josh – Damian Riveria
Let me be honest for a second. After losing two key pieces in Luis Caicedo and now Gil, I honestly believe that the Revs are not in a position to make a deep run. With that being said, I think this modified season would be the perfect time for Arena and staff to give some of the younger guys some playing time and experience. When it comes to replacing Gil, I believe that Arena should seriously consider implementing a young face in the starting XI. For me, that young face has to be Damian Rivera.
Although Rivera is only 17 years old, the Cranston native has shown glimpses of potential ever since being signed to the first team in November of 2019. Revolution fans were able to see this potential during the Revolution’s 2020 preseason campaign. Especially during the February 12th match against the Colorado Rapids when Rivera was able to find the back of the net twice in the first twenty minutes of the match up.
I believe that if Rivera were able to get some playing time during the upcoming modified season, he would be able to have an impact on the Revolution’s offense and would provide for a suitable temporary replacement for Gil until he is able to return.
Seth-Penilla on the right, Bunbury on the left
I love the idea of giving young players significant minutes during this strange season. That said, Arena’s approach to the MLS is Back Tournament makes me think that veterans will get the nod first.
Arena has generally gone with speedy wingers when Gil is out and I’m predicting that trend will continue. The head man will go with Cristian Penilla on the right and Teal Bunbury on the left. Penilla will cut in, allowing Brandon Bye to get forward. On the other side, Bunbury will provide his usual energy.
Sam- Tajon Buchanan
I have a similar mindset to Josh and think that Arena will go with a young face to insert into the starting XI. The loss of Gil is a major blow to the team. The reason Buchanan gets the nod in my opinion is because Arena has already showed that he likes to play the young Canadian.
Buchanan appeared in six games (two starts) so far in 2020. His pace makes him an interesting option that could hopefully make some game changing plays. The fact that Arena is already confident enough to start Buchanan shows that there is a chance that Buchanan gets some serious playing time.
In his rookie season, Buchanan appeared in 10 games and had 2 assists. If Arena gives Buchanan the spot it will definitely be interesting to see if he can take advantage of a great opportunity.