MLS- Real Salt Lake

Gil equalizes as RSL earn draw in friendly with Xolos


Photo by USA Today Sports


With his side down one with just minutes remaining, 20-year-old Luis Gil scored himself a goal.

Despite playing under threatening weather conditions, the midfielder scored a spectacular equalizing goal in the 87th minute as RSL and Mexican side Club Tijuana played to a 1-1 draw Tuesday in a friendly.

After receiving a lofted pass from substitute Abdoulie Mansally, Gil touched the ball down with his right foot towards the center of the box. The young midfielder darted around his defender before finishing with a right footed volley towards the far post to earn his side the well-deserved 1-1 draw.

The game was played despite rain and lighting, with both sides generating their fair share of sparks as well. The two teams clashed early and often, with referee Robert Sibiga issuing three yellow cards in the first 20 minutes.

Gil, who previously created a chance with a free kick in the 12th minute, would have scored in the 25th if not for an acrobatic save from Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud, who finished with seven saves on the night.

After the defense swept away a slew of Xolos chances in the second half, it was Gil once again who nearly opened the scoring, as the U.S. international rifled a shot off the crossbar and out of play in the 75th minute.

The visitors capitalized just two minutes later, with midfielder Eduardo Villegas notching the opening goal in the 77th minute. Stationed at the top right corner of the box, Villegas took a touch before gently curling the ball up and over RSL goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez, where it tucked into the upper-90 to give the Mexican side the late lead.

Villegas’ curler was outdone just ten minutes later, with Gil providing the equalizer with a sensational second-touch volley to tie the game at one.

Check out the highlights from RSL’s 1-1 draw with Xolos:

    • Bryan

      Looks like a few did, here’s their lineup:

      Club Tijuana (5-3-2): Gibran Lajud; Elio Castro; Javier Salas; John Requejo; Oliver Ortiz; Alejandro Molina; Edgar Villegas; Alfredo Moreno; Alejandro Guido (Luis Chavez, 85’); Paul Arriola (Fernando Arce, 81’); Henry Martin (Jose Garcia, 74’)


      • Chris W

        So a lot of the younger guys. good to see. I have big hopes for Arriola, i really see him being a player


      • SLChris

        Arriola made an utterly irresponsible challenge with zero chances to win the ball and broke John Stertzer’s tibia…Stertzer’s going to miss 3-4 months.


      • wann

        From my vantage point it looked like it was more Stertzers fault than Arriola’s. However considering it was a 50/50 ball both share some of the fault. The main point should be that challeneges like that have no place in a friendly.


      • Brian I

        Just imagine the scene if Pep was coaching…would’ve blew up the stadium!

        …after not shaking the coach’s hand of course.


  • Bryan

    Gil was all over those highlights. I know hes only 20….but it would be nice if he was making a bigger impact in MLS at this point.


    • Shawn

      its the system. RSL plays through morales and often crosses the ball alot or kick the ball into space to plata


      • The Squad

        Or Sabario…

        Someone with the Colorado Rapids recently spoke about building a system over there that would remind people of the San Antonio Spurs…

        Successful at the highest levels with the idea of individual sacrifice from a player perspective..

        Thinking that RSL sort of captures some that without as many trips to promised land..

        Gil seems to be fortunate in many ways.. he’s allowed to develop in a well-coached successsful system where players seem to operate in highly defined roles.

        Unfortunately, he and few otherson that squad (Garcia, etc.) have to find a way impact a game that ay go a little beyond raw skill set..

        RSL is designed for success..

        Even with the recent offensive woes it seems as though management is keen to challenge guys to work within strictly within the system tofind their individual game..


  • JayAre

    If only RSL continued to play him in his preferred #10 role instead of the wing. He’s proved that he can play now they just need to put him in the right position


  • jaybeezwax

    Gil in the #10 role with Jose Villarreal in the target forward position. They had good chemistry in the U-20’s last cycle. Would like to see them paired up again at some point.


  • Jeff Carter

    I dunno, the few handfuls of times I’ve seen him play, he shows flashes of skill…he just doesn’t bring it consistently. For the RSL fans that see him everyday, would be perform better in the “10” role than Diskerud has/did?


  • Chodilicus

    Gil is an absolute stud and has really rare world class skill for an American midfielder. He has been consistently good at RSL as a regular starter for 3 years now on a title contending team, remember he is still only 20. But, his natural position really is at the top of the diamond and he really, really excels, scores and creates a ton of chances when he plays there. That is true for RSL or the USMNT youth teams. He dominated the U20 World Cup last year from the #10 role and was the only American that looked like he belonged at the highest level.

    Personally, I think people are way too hard on Gil, especially RSL fans. For some reason people expect him to be Messi already even though he is 20 and playing out of position. In the long run, being forced to be a true 2-way player in a hard system for wide midfielders will be good for Luis. He is at least as promising as Yedlin and may provide the USMNT with the first truly skilled #10 since Claudio Reyna.


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