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Luis Gil on his 2014 struggles, 2015 role, coming to Real Salt Lake and more

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We spoke with Luis Gil about everything from how he ended up with Real Salt Lake to his 2015 goals to his conversations with Jurgen Klinsmann. Enjoy.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Randal Serr Tell us about your background, where you grew up, and how you got into soccer.

Luis Gil: Well I grew up in Orange County, CA. My dad is Mexican my mom is American. I got into soccer because of my dad. He used to play semi pro and it runs in the family. Soccer was the first sport introduced to me and just fell in love with it at a very young age.

RS: Why did you decide to come to Real Salt Lake with all the options you had at the time?

LG: I get that question a lot. I mean, I was in a difficult situation in regards to Europe since I didn't have an European passport. The whole Arsenal deal was a complicated one not having the passport and other little situations that made it difficult for me to be able to get there. I always had MLS in the back of my mind and after talks with my agent he threw out that RSL was a great TEAM! And would learn a lot from the players that are there and coaching staff. Plus they even won the MLS Cup the year before.

RS: What specifically have you learned from RSL veterans and fellow midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales?

LG: I've learned a lot from pretty much all the players on the team. I try and listen and absorb every type of advice they give.

RS: How would you assess your 2014 season?

LG: My 2014 season was a difficult one. Many don't know but I had struggled with an injury that kept me out for a while and that was new to me because I've never had an injury that would keep me off the field for a few months with a hamstring strain. It was a good learning process though because it's part of the game and you got to learn how to take care of yourself when situations like that happens. It was just difficult to get back into the rhythm and find my form again.

"I want to be that player that does whatever it takes for the team to win."—Luis Gil on his goals as a player

RS: What goals do you have for 2015 and what do you see your role being this season?

LG: I feel great so far in 2015, preseason has been going well and my goals aren't too specific.  Yes, I want to score goals and get assists. Who doesn't love that? But I want to be that player that does whatever it takes for the team to win. If the team does good you look good so my focus is to do what the team needs me to do to achieve our goals and win some silverware.

RS: RSL players will often say that the fans here are some of the best in the league. What makes RSL fans unique?

LG: I love RSL fans. There the best hands down! Just the atmosphere they bring every game is what drives us to be better! They understand the game. They feel the game. It's our fortress at RioT. It's always a great feeling to have our games with those type of fans

RS: Who do you think the best three American soccer players are and why?

LG: I don't like to single people out and put others above. American players are on the rise all over the world. It's such a great feeling at this moment of time to see how much soccer (Futbol) has grown on Americans and the types of players we are producing.

RS: What kind of conversations do you have with Jurgen Klinsmann about your future with the U.S. Men's National Team?

LG: The conversations are never about the future with the USMNT. He lets that be up to the players to show it to him and prove themselves that they deserve to be there. We mostly talk about how I can improve as a player. Being more of a fighter and some more aggressiveness is something for me that's gotta be a part of my game.

RS: What is it like playing other countries and traveling all over the world to compete with the best of the best?

LG: It's a blessing! It's always amazing experiences going to different countries to play the beautiful game. But when it's time to take the pitch it's all seriousness because you're playing the best of the best. It's never going to be easy and the mindset has to be more focused.

RS: Which players do you enjoy watching the most?

LG: I enjoy watching a lot of Cristiano and a lot of Iniesta! I try to take little things they do on the field and apply them myself. Whereas it's Ronaldo's aggressiveness on the attack and doing whatever it takes to score. Or Iniesta and his movements on and off the ball is just insane.

RS: How is Jeff Cassar different from Jason Kreis?

LG: It's not much of a difference between the two. They've worked with each other for years and it's been a blessing to be able to have them both in the beginning of my career. I'm growing as a player each and every year and adapting to what is necessary on the pitch and it's great to have Cassar there to help me along the way! I've enjoyed myself through all my years on this team.