One of the USA Under-20 national team's key cogs appears set to be available for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil is expected to be medically cleared prior to the USA's tournament-opening game against Spain on Friday after suffering a head injury, according to USA coach Tab Ramos. Gil took a blow to the head in a friendly against Portugal on Friday, one that the U.S. won 3-1. Gil collided with Portugal's Ricardo Alves and had to exit in the 40th minute, but he has returned to practice and is just awaiting final clearance.
"Luis took a pretty hard hit on Friday in our game against Portugal, he was out of practice for a couple of days," Ramos said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. "Fortunately for us, he was able to fully practice today, so as far as we know from our medical staff, at this point we feel like by tomorow he will probably be fully cleared to play. We will have to wait until tomorrow to hear that, but I am pretty confident that he's going to be available to us on Friday."
The 19-year-old Gil has two goals and an assist through 14 games for RSL this season, his third as an active first-team professional. He scored two goals in the CONCACAF U-20 championship, helping the U.S. to a runner-up finish behind Mexico and a berth in this summer's World Cup, and he was named to the All-Tournament team for his performance.