We often take for granted the young and talented player RSL has in 19 year old Luis Gil. The kid plays well beyond his years and this year might just be a breakout year for him. I’ve been extremely impressed with his game thus far and while there are areas to improve upon, all signs are pointing to a stellar year.

Currently, Gil has 6 shots on goal, 1 stellar goal, 1 assist and we’re only 5 games into the 2013 season. Just for comparison take a look at his numbers over the past 3 years. (I excluded 2010 because he didn’t play any regular season games that year)

Luis Gil Career Stats

Year
GP
GS
% GS
MIN
G
A
SHT
SOG
% SOG
201355100 %3981113646%
2012291965.5%16101322523%
2011251456%12882021733%

A few things stand out to me here. Other than the obvious goal and assist, that nearly match if not exceed his previous 2 years, are the shots on goal. Only 5 games in and Gil already has 13 shot attempts 6 of which are on frame. Compare that with the previous years and you can see the quality in shot attempts rising. But Gil is a midfielder and while shots on goal are nice, distribution is key.

Therefore, I decided to break it down even further on a game by game basis. There were 5 games in the month of March and I looked up Gil’s passing efficiency over those 5 games. 3 of the 5 games, Gil played the full 90 minutes and in each one completed over 70% of his passes. Those are decent numbers, but RSL midfielders are often in the 80%+ range for passing efficiencies. So this is an area where the youngster appears to be starting to hit his stride, but also has some room for growth.

See the distributions below:

3-3

3-9

3-16

3-23

3-30

After the win vs Seattle on Saturday Gil was asked about feeling any pressure to be a more increased play-maker:

“Not really. They try to put it on me, but I just try and do what I do. I’m still improving as a player. Obviously I’ve got to apply myself, that’s the big thing. I just need to take it slow and steady, but at the same time be dangerous.”

Certainly his success with the U-20′s has helped his game be that much sharper early on in the season. When asked if there was carryover of his success from the U-20 National Team to the Regular Season with RSL, Gil said the following:

“Yeah, for sure… I gotta start stepping up now and making big plays like that every single game, they can’t be every other game or every three games.”

Let’s hope this type of efficiency continues out of Gil. If so, the future looks very bright.

Tell us what you think. What are your thoughts of Gil thus far?

3 Responses to “The Evolution of Luis Gil”

  1. Nussdorfer AC says:

    His confidence seems to be the biggest jump. His willingness to push the attack and pressure defenses. It adds more danger to RSL’s possession.

  2. wesbadia says:

    For so long it’s been told to everyone that Gil will be the replacement for Javi when that time comes. And while I see how his distribution and playmaking is crucial to his game, I can’t help but think he’s more than what Javi brings to the table.

    Morales is a straight up #10 playmaker. But Gil is more pragmatic in his approach, often just gutting out performances with a workhorse mentality. He could easily slot in on the right or left wings to fill a void for Grabavoy or Velsaquez, just as much as he could fill in at the point of the diamond for Javi. And, dare I say, Gil at the holding d-mid position might actually fit him as well. But he’s not just that utility workman either. So far this year we’ve seen him dribble through two or three defenders to lay off a pass or shot; set up a brilliant through ball or cross; etc.

    All in all, Gil is a more complete player than Javier could ever be. Quite bluntly, he’s a Michael Bradley type of player. And because of that I think that as long as the soccer gods look kindly upon him, he’ll have a place on the USMNT roster for years to come.

  3. James says:

    I think Gil has been fantastic and he continues to improve. I think his confidence has a lot to do with his improvement. He seems to look to shoot a lot quicker than in past years and that makes him more dangerous.

    I really like Javi, but last year there were multiple games where I felt like we were a better team with Gil on the field in place of Javi. Gil seems to work much harder on defense than Javi.

    I love having them both on the team but I am becoming more and more a fan of Gil starting over Javi.

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