TFC’s Pozuelo loses out to Carles Gil for MLS Newcomer of the Year

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Philadelphia Union midfielder Brenden Aaronson (22) and teammate Jamiro Monteiro (35) pressure Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (10) during second half MLS action in Toronto on Saturday, May 11, 2019. (Frank Gunn/CP)

New England Revolution attacking midfielder Carles Gil has been voted MLS Newcomer of the Year, beating out New York City FC’s Heber and Toronto FC’s Alejandro Pozuelo.

The award recognizes the year’s most impactful new MLS player, who has prior professional experience.

Gil, whose name is pronounced Car-Less Heel, arrived in MLS from Deportivo de La Coruna in his native Spain having already played for Aston Villa in England, and Valencia CF and Elche CF in Spain.

The 26-year-old Gil captained the Revs to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Gil finished with 10 goals and 14 assists while playing all but eight minutes of the regular season.

Gil was first among all newcomers — and tied for fifth overall — with 24 combined goals and assists. His 14 helpers ranked fifth in MLS and paced all newcomers. He was one of only four MLS players to reach double digits in goals and assists this season.

The Spaniard received 19.46 per cent of the vote, getting the nod from 12.16 per cent of his fellow players, 21.4 per cent from club officials and 25.10 per cent from the media.

Brazil’s Heber was second at 17.55 per cent of the total vote, ahead of Spain’s Pozuelo at 12.01 per cent.

Gil’s durability, no doubt, factored into his win.

Heber had 15 goals and four assists in 22 league appearances while Pozuelo had 12 goals and 12 assists in 28 games.

Sebastian Giovinco won the award in 2015 with Toronto FC, one year after the honour went to Pedro Morales of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Players eligible for the Newcomer of the Year Award are ineligible for Rookie of the Year.

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