SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake MF Luis Gil has been called up to the inaugural U.S. Under-21 National Team Camp, which will take place from April 20-24 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif. The camp will consist of three days of training and will conclude with a friendly against Club Tijuana next Wednesday evening.
Gil will not miss any Real Salt Lake games while at the U-21 camp. The 20-year-old Garden Grove, Calif. native will depart Salt Lake City following RSL’s Saturday game against Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium and will return to the club ahead of its April 26 home match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Gil started all of RSL’s first five games before missing last week’s 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union due to injury. He has one goal and one assist in the 2014 season. Gil’s 106 appearances across all competitions for the RSL first-team are by far the most professional appearances of any player on the U-21 roster.
An experienced U.S. youth international, Gil has one cap with the senior USMNT, coming on for the final 15 minutes of the U.S.’s friendly win against Korea Republic at StubHub Center on Feb. 1. He was called to the USMNT’s most recent camp, training with Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad in Phoenix and making the bench for the U.S.’s 2-2 friendly draw against Mexico on April 2. Gil was a major part of the U.S.’s 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup squad, starting all three games for the Stars-and-Stripes at last summer’s tournament in Turkey.
The U-21 National Team was set up to bridge the gap between the Under-20 National Team and the Senior National Team, as well as form a core group of players that will make up the majority of the Under-23 Men’s National Team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U-23 National Team will begin programming in 2015.
Next week’s 21-man camp roster is composed entirely of North American-based players, 19 of whom play professionally. Gil is one of 13 Major League Soccer players to receive a call-up; the remaining nine call-ups come from Liga MX, Ascenso MX, USL PRO and the NCAA college ranks.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Kempin (Oklahoma City Energy; Leawood, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres UANL; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.), Collin Martin (D.C. United; Chevy Chase, Md.), Esteban Rodriguez (Club Tijuana; Bell Gardens, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Danny Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul; Inglewood, Calif.)