24 Under 24 (2012): #14 Luis Gil (IMAGE)
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

24 Under 24: #14 Luis Gil, Real Salt Lake

14. Luis Gil

Pos: M | Real Salt Lake | Age: 18

With Javier Morales back in the saddle in 2012, RSL have become less reliant on Gil to be a regular 90-minute starter, spreading out his minutes compared to last year. It has given the 18-year-old room to grow this season as he also juggles US U-20 duties and works through the typical knocks. Although the buzz around Gil may have died down some after his breakout 2011, he continues to be an effective contributor for RSL. This season we’ve seen a greater eagerness from Gil to defend and track back, duties which may not necessarily attract the spotlight, but they certainly make for a more complete pro.

What the TDs and coaches like: “Technically talented and can control the rhythm of the game if he gets enough touches … Strikes a great ball … For his age, he’s played a lot in MLS … He’s made the most of his playing time … A promising prospect. …  Skillful, more playmaking type … More of a tempo guy – a quarterback – and that’s a position that takes even more time to develop. It takes games … He’s figured out quickly that at RSL he has to work hard. He has to be a two-way player … He seems to be improving every year … He’s a guy that certainly has the potential to start every game in this league … Great vision, his work rate has improved dramatically over the last couple of years as has his presence on the field … This year he’s more ready to handle the physical rigors of our league … He’s established himself as one of the top attacking midfielders in the US system.”

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: “Needs to work on consistency, being able to put together performances back-to-back. He’ll have good moments, and then not so good moments … Needs to show he’s ready for that next level … Learning how to play that No. 10 position in a league that is very difficult for them to work.”

Opta Says: There are only two players younger than Gil who have played in MLS in 2012.

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: #11
Fan Ranking: #23
Castrol Index (as of 9/12/12): #244

2012 Stats
Matches played: 24
Matches started: 15
Goals: 1
Assists: 3

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