Everyone had high hopes for Luis Gil entering the 2014 season. Coming off a successful 2013 campaign, this was year that many people thought that Gil would truly break out. Not only was there talk of him becoming a force in the RSL midfield, but a USMNT call-up was also rumored to be in his future. The US call-ups did come, but the rest of Gil's season could only be defined as inconsistent.
While injuries played a factor, the emerging play of Luke Mulholland limited the amount of time Gil was on the field. He started 16 games, compared to the 24 that he started in 2013. His stats also took a dip due to his decreased playing time. He only had 2 goals and 2 assists on the year (compared to 5 and 3 in 2013) in regular season play. He averaged having only 0.4 shots on goal every 90 minutes that he played. This was the lowest on the team for any forward or midfielder.
The team itself also did not seem to play as well when he was on the field. When he played, the team averaged scoring a goal every 80 minutes. But when he was not on the field, the team averaged scoring a goal every 45 minutes.
While his numbers were down, there were games where he would show flashes of brilliance. Usually this occured in any match that he was playing at the top of the diamond instead of the side. He can do some pretty amazing things with the ball at his feet. Those glimpses reminded everyone the type of player he could become.
Then there was the match against Tijuana. Not only was he the best player for RSL that night, he was the best player on the field for either side. His dominance of the match culminated in one of the best goals that has ever been scored at Rio Tinto Stadium. This was the player that finally lived up to the potential that had been talked about since he was 16 years old.
Which Luis Gil will the RSL faithful see in 2015? That remains to be seen. It is important to remember that he will only be 21 years old at the start of the season. If he can get past his inconsistencies, he truly could become the star that everyone is hoping he will be.
Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2014 season and previewing the 2015 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.