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2013 Most Improved: Luis Gil, Ned Grabavoy highlighted for strong seasons

The end of the regular season brings with it an opportunity to reflect on what we've seen over 34 games spanning March to October. RSL Soapbox contributors bring you our picks for the best players this season. Today: The most improved RSL player this season.


Charles Barnard: Luis Gil. Gil's development really took a step forward this year. From his play in the U-20's to his improved play in the RSL midfield, Gil really step up his game. His next step will be to be consistent with high level of play.

Chad Loveland: Luis Gil. This seems obvious to me too. Has to be Gil right? He started 75% of his games, played in 94% of the MLS games, scored 5 goals with 3 assists. Looked much, much more consistent than ever before. Was a very solid contributor and still has room to grow. Played well beyond his 19 years. Think about that for a second, Luis is younger than every single player on RSL's roster except Benji Lopez! He took a huge step forward this year and could very well be a younger, faster, more even-keeled Will Johnson. If only we can lock him up on a team friendly deal.

Matthew Montgomery: Luis Gil. Luis Gil, without a doubt, gets the prize here. He went from a consistent player but not a huge contributor last season to one whose baseline was at the same level, but the peaks were considerably higher. That's a real feat, and it speaks to the hard work he's done. Unless he takes a substantial dip in the playoffs, he's probably done enough to get him called into his first full national team camp. He'll be looking to improve even more considerably heading into 2014, because there's one huge event in the summer he'll be hoping to find a place in. It's a long shot, but if he continues developing at the rate he has, there's a chance.

Randal Serr: Ned Grabavoy. Grabavoy has been substantially better this year than in years past. He has notched more goals this year than I can ever remember him scoring over the past few seasons. He has added another dimension to the team's attack and that is one of the main reasons that RSL hasn't really lost a step this year with so much transition. Grabavoy did the small things like changing his diet and it paid off.

Jake Simons: Luis Gil. I think this year we saw a lot of what Luis Gil will be in his career. The kid is still a kid and, at times, has shown brilliance on the ball. He has improved every year but I saw a lot more out of him this year than in previous years. Running the midfield for the beginning of the season and being the creative force that we needed him to be when called upon. Luis has a bright future ahead of him.