The following post was written by Caleb Reeve. You can follow Caleb Reeve on Twitter by following: @calebreeve
What do you do with Luis Gil? This is the question I continually ask myself. Where do you play him? His natural position, or at least where most analysts say he should be playing, is being occupied by Javier Morales, who happens to be having a fiery start to the season. So he doesn’t fit there at the moment.
Last year he was playing in the wing position but lost his starting role to Luke Mulholland. In the offseason, Ned Grabavoy exited to NYCFC and Robbie Findley went to Toronto which opened up a spot for him in the midfield and a shiny new #10 jersey number.
Just when a firm starting role was opened, Coach Cassar changed formations to a 4-3-3 leaving one less midfielder spot. He played well in preseason and started in the midfield. Then he was called in to the U-23 squad for some International Friendlies, where he tallied 3 assists in a single game and subsequently lost his starting midfield position to Luke again.
Since 2011 he has played in 114 matches but only 6,581 minutes. That averages out to just under 58 minutes per game. In that time he has scored 10 goals and notched 8 assists. For someone with so much hype around him, he should be getting close to that kind of production every season…but he isn’t.
In his defense, he hasn’t gotten regular minutes. If he was actually getting 58 minutes every game maybe things would be different. Early in his career he wasn’t getting consistent playing time, coming on as sub, going several games without any minutes at all. And to be honest, not much has changed.
He hasn’t held a regular position. Moving from left, to middle, to right from game to game in the midfield. And now in his most recent start against Sporting KC, Gil moved again to an attacker on the right side in the 4-3-3. Sometimes I feel bad for the kid because he is a positional nomad.
The problem is, Morales is playing better than him, as is Mulholland. It gets worse for Luis, as there probably won’t be a spot for him in the starting 11 when Joao Plata and Sebastian Jamie are healthy. You play him as a sub but he won’t get enough quality experience. He’ll play in different positions with less than 30 minutes a game. If that is the case he isn’t going to become that great play-maker everyone wants and expects him to be.
So the question is: What do you do with Luis Gil? He’s too good to play for the Monarchs, right?