Soccer is in Luis Gil’s blood.
Coming from a family of soccer players, the American midfielder first started playing at just three years old and was coached in youth leagues by his father. “My dad was a pretty difficult coach,” Gil said. “He expected a lot of me and was very hands-on, but it definitely was a benefit for me.”
This intense training at such a young age helped Gil race ahead of his peers in the same age group. He was playing on club teams and being scouted by the U.S. National Team at only 13 years old. He would go on to play key roles on the United States U17, U18, and U20 teams.
“It’s been a great blessing playing U.S. Soccer,” he said. “Going through the ranks has been such a great opportunity to improve and develop as a player.”
And U.S. Soccer’s investment in Gil has paid off in a big way, as he is now a key member of the U23 team. “Playing on the U23 team is a huge step forward, but I’ve still got a lot more to give,” the now 22-year-old said.
Currently, going through qualifying, the squad is potentially just months away from his One Goal of winning matches on a global stage this summer. “It’s going to be exciting,” Gil said. “You’re going against the world’s best players, so everyone is going to be giving it their all.”
To prepare for his One Goal, Gil is training harder than ever. “I’m always hungry and never satisfied, so when I work out, I give it my all.”
But he knows that soccer success at a global level requires more than just extra time in the gym and soccer field. To keep his body in top shape, he watches what he eats and is smart about his recovery.
“If you don’t eat the right things, it takes a toll on your body,” he said. “I’m a big sweets guy so it’s tough, but I try to avoid that and fast food because I want to be a better player.”
Gil also knows that in order to have a long, prolific career, he needs to give his body the proper amount of time to heal between games. “When you’re young, you feel like you’re made of steel,” he said. “But if you rush it and aren’t patient, it will affect you later in your career.”
That dedication and commitment should go a long way this summer. So, if you see Gil leading a fast break for the U.S. Men’s National Team on your TV screen this summer, what can you expect? “Lots of goals and hopefully lots of wins.”