Written by Will Parchman

gil

The U.S. U23s parried attack after Colombia attack on Friday to walk out of Barranquilla not only alive, but well. A madcap 1-1 draw allowed the U.S. to continue dreams of Olympic glory in Rio later this summer, and the reason those dreams aren’t thrashed on the cutting room floor is Luis Gil’s lovely goal.

This fine piece of work gave the U.S. a shock 1-0 lead in the first half despite a disparity in just about every statistic imaginable. Didn’t matter. Gil took advantage of Colombia’s woeful man marking and deposited this well-spotted Mario Rodriguez cross into the bottom left corner. Neither defender or keeper could reach it.

Gil played the No. 10 role in this match, and while nobody in the U.S. attack had a great game, they didn’t need one. All they needed was this lovely piece of work and some luck. They got both.

We should probably talk about these unis some more, but now’s not the time. Go celebrate or something.

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Written by Travis Clark

Olympic qualification for 2016 is some ways off, but U.S. Soccer is making clear that there won’t be a repeat of the 2012 fiasco.

The U.S. U23, which already had a camp earlier this season, traveled to the Bahamas last week (not bad, I know) for a short training camp and a friendly against the full Bahamian national team. The U23s cruised to a 5-1 win, with goals from Alfred Koroma, Luis Gil, Dennis Flores, Jordan Morris and Omar Salgado.

 

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Written by Travis Clark

deandre-yedlin-usmnt-soccer-biographyAt the start of 2010, Edson Buddle, Robbie Findley and Herculez Gomez each had less than three caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Some, like Buddle, hadn’t been on the radar for seven years prior to that.

Fans of the USMNT will recall what happened next — the three put together remarkable stretches from January-May, eventually convincing Bob Bradley that the three deserves a spot on the plane to South Africa. Findley started three games there, Buddle made two and Gomez played three times at the 2010 World Cup.

As April approaches, are there any players capable of making a run similar to those three? Problems in the forward department obviously forced Bob Bradley’s hand to an extent back in 2010, and things seem a bit more straightforward under Jurgen Klinsmann.

Of course, there are problem areas that Klinsmann is certainly on the lookout for. Spots on the back line might be up for grabs, creativity in the midfield can always use a boost and scoring options are always welcome.

Here are five players with three caps or fewer who might just possibly be able to snag a spot in Brazil. There are obviously other long shot candidates who have more caps (NOTE: Julian Green not included because we think he’s already be on the plane).

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Written by The 91st

The US U20 Men’s National Team did what the senior squad could not in their World Cup qualifying opener – they earned points.

Luis Gil and Daniel Cuevas scored first-half goals and the US held on for a 2-1 victory over Haiti at Estadio Olímpico Universitario Lobos BUAP. Check out the winning highlights above.

 

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Written by The 91st

ESPN came out with its ranking of the top 10 players under 21. Here’s the partial list, which features more than a few of our top standouts. Let the debating begin:

1. John Anthony Brooks, Hertha Berlin

2. Luis Gil, Real Salt Lake

3. Perry Kitchen, DC United

4. Juan Agudelo, Chivas USA

5. Sebastien Lletget, West ham United

[ESPN]

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

By Travis Clark

Despite the bad taste of the disappointing failure of the U23 Men’s National Team still lingering, look no further than the latest roster of the U20 men’s team for comfort.

There was an outpouring of negativity after the U23s failed to even qualify for the semifinals of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. But now it’s time to move on and focus on the next task lying before the youth men’s national team – U20 qualification in 2013.

There’s no secret that the U.S. failed at this age group last time under Thomas Rongen. And while qualifying for the U20 World Cup is far from assured, there’s plenty of talent in the current crop. Camp starts next week in Portland, Oregon, and there’s little question who the central focus of the group will be – Luis Gil.

Gil’s star is slowly on the rise, a rather unusual characteristic in U.S. men’s soccer, where even the most minute talent becomes overhyped in no time. He’s currently in his third season with Real Salt Lake, and is someone this U20 team can be built around. Players who aren’t even coming into camp for various reasons, like the injured Marc Pelosi, forward Vilyan Bijev and midfielder Alejandro Guido, are sure to be involved.

Along with that, there’s plenty more than just Gil and a couple of no shows. Crew Academy and Akron midfielder Wil Trapp continues to develop into a talented player, and FC Dallas Academy product and North Carolina central defender Boyd Okwuonu is a pro center back in the making. Then there’s the oft-overlooked Will Packwood, a defensive midfielder who has slowly but surely cut his teeth in Birmingham of all places.

These names are a reminder that while U.S. Soccer still has a long way to go, there is reason for optimism on the immediate horizon. And while there’s nothing guaranteed when navigating the traps and pitfalls of CONCACAF qualifying, you shouldn’t give up hope. Next year, another promising crop of men’s talent is going to take center stage and restore the sense of optimism that might just be hard to feel at the moment.

 

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