Much has been made about the possibility of Luis Gil making the next big move in his career and signing with a "big" European club once he finished with the U20 World Cup in Turkey. Some fans and pundits were saying that we may have seen Gil in a RSL jersey for the last time.
To put all of this in context, the possibility of Gil leaving has been talked about before. In the past, GM Garth Lagerwey has stated that Gil could eventually replace Morales at the top of the diamond. Gil has also been mentioned as possibly leading the U.S. Men's National Team in the future. Of course there is much left to see before we get to that point, both in Gil's play and in any offers that may or may not arrive from across the sea.
So where are we with all of that now that the U.S. has not survived their group in the World Cup? Gil's first game against Spain was arguably his best with a goal that raised eyebrows and some great play throughout. Insideworldsoccer.com called it a "candidate for the goal of the tournament."
The next game had Gil missing a couple great chances including one on a penalty kick. His third game was good and his leadership showed through, not just in his play but in how he tried to help his team remain optimistic and united. Overall, a pretty good showing for all the scouts that were paying attention. But was that enough to receive an offer from a club with deeper pockets than RSL?
When asked on ESPN 700 on July 3rd if RSL had received any calls about Luis, he responded, "Nothing. I think for me Luis was arguably the best U.S. player in the tournament...if we get no calls then I don't think anybody here is crying their eyes out.That means we get to keep Luis and hopefully build around him for the long term. It was one of those things where you're kind of going to let fate decide. I think the U.S. performance was poor enough that it damaged the prospect of the guys on the team short-term."
That is some pretty high praise from the GM who has been known to have some success at his job over the past 5 or 6 years with talk of building around him for the long term if possible. This means RSL brass see Gil as the new core of the team if he really does stick around. Schuler has been mentioned in that same vein in the past but we will know a lot more about that soon.
But it seems that this is a win-win situation for Real. If they get a call for a lucrative club, they cash in and help the play on the field. If not, they have a very good young player that is getting better by the month. Gil came on late in the Philadelphia game and made his presence known quickly with a crucial tying header. It does not seem that a poor U.S. performance has affected his confidence in the least. If anything it appears that he knows that he was the best player for the U.S. U20s after that stint and he is ready to keep helping his current club, regardless of what happens in his future.
Time will tell what will happen with Luis, but as of right now it looks like Real has the best chance at having him around for a while.