24 Under 24: #11 Luis Gil, Real Salt Lake
|Tale of the Tape|
|Matches played: 19|
|Matches started: 10|
#11. Luis GIl
Pos: M | Real Salt Lake | Age: 17
There are teenage sensations, and then there’s the kid that US fans eagerly dubbed the next American No. 10. Those were the expectations that greeted Luis Gil during his highly uneventful but certainly educational first year in the league in 2010, when RSL happily shielded their budding star from the hype machine and allowed him to grow in their academy. That’s changed a bit this season, and Gil has taken advantage. He’s stepped into the role of RSL’s playmaker - vacated by the injured Javier Morales - with surprising maturity, and there are only better things to come. Poise and patience are attributes he can learn, but he’s already got the talent. He’s prepared to teach us what the future in Salt Lake is going to look like.
What the TDs and coaches say: “Has great talent and he’s showing that against men. He's a kid with a bright future … He’s got great feet … Has confidence on the ball that’s not common for a 17-year-old American … He’s 17 years old and he plays like a man … He has good balance and a knack for finding space to turn into … He has good awareness and knows what’s going on around him … Can become a great player for the national team but let’s let him play for now … He has to understand there’s a responsibility on both sides of the ball but when he has time and space on the ball he can take an aggressive step to get defenses to go backward … Being around guys like [Javier] Morales and [Kyle] Beckerman rubs off on him because he has a lot of great examples of how to carry himself in the middle of the field.”