I took a look this week at Real Salt Lake’s careful development of midfielder Luis Gil, who was just 16 when he signed his pro contract with Major League Soccer.
When I spoke with RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, the veteran brought up a familiar name: Freddy Adu. Rimando played with Adu in D.C. and in Salt Lake, and he compared the pressure the two teen sensations experienced early in their careers, and contrasted their development.
Here’s a potential parallel to keep in mind in the coming months: Adu had a resurgence after a solid showing in the U-20 World Cup in 2007. His performance in the tournament ultimately led to international interest and a $2 million transfer fee that sent him off to Benfica of Portugal.
Gil was back in Utah this week after a successful U-20 run of his own. He smiled big and admitted the idea of getting looks from teams abroad had entered his mind.
"Obviously they’re going to be there," he said. "But my big thing is hopefully just helping the team win."
Offers — even the seven-figure variety —could certainly be coming. But RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey said it’s something the club will deal with if it happens. "We can’t control it," he said of RSL getting offers for Gil. "That will either happen or it won’t."
— Aaron Falk
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