American Exports: Injury puts Castillo in doubt for US quals

Edgar Castillo with Club Tijuana.

Photo Credit: 
MexSport

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Just as Edgar Castillo appeared to have cemented a place in the US national team squad, a foot injury looks set to rule him out of next month’s qualifiers.

The Club Tijuana left back will be out of action for 20 days, MLSsoccer.com has learned from a source close to the club, meaning he could miss the US games against Jamaica on Sept. 7 and Sept. 11. The 25-year-old could return to the field in 19 days for the Xolos trip to Atlante on Sept. 16.

The injury occurred 15 minutes from the end of Tijuana’s 1-0 victory this past Saturday in the Estadio Azteca over Club América, Castillo’s former team. The New Mexico native was sprinting forward to try to reach a ball played over the top of the defense, but pulled up and immediately signaled to the bench that he was hurt. However, he was ordered to soldier on until the end of the game, as coach Antonio Mohamed had used all three of his substitutions.

Even more discouraging for the US, Castillo appeared to have rounded into form in recent weeks. His performance for the USMNT against Mexico was widely lauded and, despite being injured for the last part of the game, he did enough against América to be named in the team of the week for last weekend in Mexican sports publications Récord and Cancha.

Castillo's injury will likely hand Tijuana’s Texan left back Greg Garza the chance for some minutes in the Liga MX in Friday’s game against Jaguares.

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.