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Real Salt Lake

RSL obtains allocation money from Orlando City in Luis Gil deal

First Published      Last Updated Apr 06 2017 10:41 am

Less than two years removed from leaving Major League Soccer for a new chapter in Mexico, Luis Gil is returning. And he's reuniting with the coach that got out of the now 23-year-old midfielder his best years as a young professional.

On Thursday, the league announced a finalized deal between Orlando City and Real Salt Lake that allowed Gil to join Orlando on loan for the 2017 season from Liga MX club Queretaro FC. In order to obtain Gil's MLS rights, Orlando City traded $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money to RSL. The deal stipulates that the money will not be paid to RSL until 2018, and if Orlando doesn't finalize the full-time move for Gil next year, it will only owe RSL $50,000 and RSL will regain his league rights.

The move was confirmed by The Orlando Sentinel Wednesday evening, but first reported by ESPN on March 27.

"The initial conversation was in preseason," RSL general manager Craig Waibel said. "I think Orlando had some interest in Luis then, and I think it's grown on both sides. I think with Luis' situation in Mexico as well as Orlando's situation in MLS, you match it all up and the timing was always going to be in the favor of something happening there. It's not an overnight thing. It took a few phone calls to get it sorted out."

Gil rejoins former coach Jason Kreis, who coached the Garden Grove, Calif., native in his first four years in the league with RSL. The midfielder became a staple in Kreis' diamond midfield during the club's 2013 MLS Cup final run. Gil had five goals and three assists in 24 starts that year.

In six seasons with RSL, he made 134 appearances, including 89 starts.

At the conclusion of RSL's 2015 season, Gil chose to make the move to Liga MX after going out-of-contract with his first professional franchise. He signed a three-year deal with Queretaro FC that winter. Gil made only 14 appearances across all competitions during his stint there.

RSL retained Gil's MLS rights by offering him a Bona Fide Offer in 2015 before Gil chose to leave the league for Liga MX.

"I do wonder if in the future this rule won't change within our league," Waibel said. "But from a business standpoint, there's some [players] that it makes sense to offer and some that it doesn't. Luis obviously was a very good player and is a very good player, so it made a lot of sense for us at the time."

Kreis and Gil return to Utah with Orlando City on June 30 to face RSL in a nationally-televised match to be broadcast on ESPN.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani




 

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