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Luis Gil heading back to SLC as US U-20s qualify for 2013 World Cup

Victor Decolongon

Luis Gil will return to Salt Lake City today after scoring for the United States Under-20s against Canada in a 4-2 CONCACAF U-20 Championship quarterfinal victory. That victory handed the Americans a place in the 2013 World Cup in Turkey.

The first goalscorer in the match, Gil leveled affairs for the U.S. after the side dropped behind early to Canada. Earlier in the tournament, he also scored a penalty in the opener and assisted against Costa Rica.

Gil, 19, has missed the bulk of preseason through international duty but is likely to be at a higher level of fitness than most, given that he's been actively training with the Under-20s since January. He's likely to feature in Sunday's match against 2012 Supporters Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes.

As the player with the most club experience in the U-20s, Gil has taken a senior role and has had a substantial impact on the side. His departure leaves the U.S. in a slightly more difficult position with semi-finals and finals in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship still to come. (Note: A previous version of this story said Jose Villarreal would be returning alongside Gil; that is apparently not the case.)

It's not the first time Gil has missed international matches to play for his club: In 2011, he returned from the Milk Cup to play for RSL after a glut of injuries struck the side.

Gil is almost certain to feature in the U-20 World Cup campaign for the U.S., meaning he's likely to miss matches for Real Salt Lake in June and potentially July. One would imagine he's unlikely to leave the U-20s mid-campaign during that tournament.