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Real Salt Lake Acquires U.S. Under-20 Midfielder Luis Gil From Kansas City Wizards

February 23, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Real Salt Lake News Release

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, February 23, 2010) - Real Salt Lake made a move with its future in mind via a trade today with the Kansas City Wizards, as the defending MLS Cup Champion acquired U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team midfielder Luis Gil from the Eastern Conference side in return for a second round selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, an International Player roster slot, and 25 percent of any future transfer fee received by RSL for Gil from a club outside MLS. Kansas City acquired the 17-year-old midfielder in a weighted lottery held by the League on Monday.

"Real Salt Lake provides a prime environment for the development of young players," said RSL GM Garth Lagerwey. "The track record that Jason Kreis and our coaching staff have of nurturing talent is exemplary, and the dream of venturing onto the Rio Tinto Stadium turf will surely inspire Luis to work hard every day in training. We have a talented, veteran team and we have no expectation that any young player will easily crack our championship lineup, though our hope is that Luis is eventually able to earn minutes in the years ahead."

Gil has already garnered plenty of attention, the California native turning down the Mexican Football Federation's overtures in order to represent the United States at the youth international level, which he's already done on 32 occasions. Eighteen of those "caps" came in 2009, when he registered four goals and four assists and served as the youngest member of the USA's squad at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. Gil did more than just tag along for the tournament, serving in the #10 playmaking role for the squad and dishing out one assist while proving to be one of the U.S. side's steadier players in the competition.

For his stellar play in 2009, Gil became the youngest player since 2003 to win U.S. Soccer's Young Male Athlete of the Year award, which is when ex-RSL member Freddy Adu captured the honor. Gil, who had reportedly received interest from some of Europe's most prestigious clubs, played his youth soccer with Southern California club Pateadores before joining the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. for its Spring 2008 semester.

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