KRIS LINDSAY - Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Luis Gil may be playing like a mature veteran with close to 100 professional appearances, but he is still just 20 years old and is consistently improving.
On Saturday, he was once again instrumental for Real Salt Lake and even managed to score in the club's 3-0 win over Toronto FC.
"I just like to score on anyone," Gil said of the goal. It was easy to read between the lines, however, to see that the young US international was beaming about having just scored on Brazil's number one keeper, Julio Cesar. "It probably wasn't the prettiest finish, but you've got to shoot to score."
The 5'9" midfielder from Garden Grove, California, shunned several major clubs such as Arsenal through his growth in the USA, and signed a Generation Adidas with Major League Soccer. He shortly thereafter joined Real Salt Lake after being originally signed by the Kansas City Wizards.
Gil has debuted on every level on international soccer for the United States, with over 50 total caps at the youth level or senior teams for his home country. The talented playmaker has made his reputation playing in the attacking midfielder role, a spot on his club team, Real Salt Lake, occupied by the Argentine Javier Morales.
"I've played that role my whole life," described Gil. "That's my spot. That's where I'm most comfortable, but after all these years I've been playing right mid in the RSL system. I've got it in my mentality to be a box to box player."
Gil has been more known among his club team as a right midfielder, but recently, due to some injuries to Morales, Gil has been able to play his natural position in a few appearances so far this season, with an assist and a goal through the first four games.
Luis was involved in the United States national team January camp, and got his first senior cap against South Korea, displaying some impressive technical ability in the few minutes that he was on the field.
"I picked a little bit from every single player that was there. They gave me a lot of confidence, because they expected a lot out of me there."
The RSL standout was called up to the United States national team for their April friendly against Mexico.
"It's a good feeling to be back with them. It's always an honor to be with the national team."
Whether he plays with the team or not, Gil is taking steps to becoming the player most hoped he would be.