On the one hand, I did not want to see him continue as an amateur in the “Development” Academy with the occasional NT camps or games. So, it’s certainly a step up as far as improved, consistent, and challenging training. But …
As I’ve stated in several articles here, here, and here, I think he has the potential to be the best American to get through our system. Perhaps enough to become “world class” and play on a top European side. Now I fear that will no longer happen. In my opinion, MLS will ruin him just as it did Freddy Adu. Yes he will be good, play World Cups, make a European squad some day … but he’ll be just like our current NT guys – nothing truly special.
I wish he could’ve stayed either in the Arsenal farm, gone to a Spanish academy, or made the trip to Argentina like Funes Mori. That’s where his potential could have been nurtured. You see, Gil has the latino style of play in him – a smart, playmaking, creative, possession-oriented game. These are the qualities the US lacks and is incapable of developing. Instead it resorts to vertical play and a reliance on athleticism in hopes that something good will happen.
This is precisely the type of environment where a player like Gil can’t shine. That is, if he get’s playing time at all since these are not his strengths.
Admittedly, I probably only saw a dozen MLS matches last season. Enough to know what I assert above, but not enough to identify if there’s that one coach who has a clue and the inclination to adopt something different.
All in all I’m in wait and see mode, but no longer optimistic with the kid.