Fabian Castillo beginning to realize potential after hot start leads to two goals for FC Dallas

FRISCO, Texas – When Fabián Castillo slammed a shot past Chivas USA’s Dan Kennedy for a goal in FC Dallas’ 3-1 win Saturday night, it capped off a great night of attacking play from the forward.

More than that, it may be a sign that Castillo is finally ready to fulfill the promise Oscar Pareja saw in him when FCD’s now head coach first scouted him as an assistant for the team in 2011.

"Castillo is a player who needs to practice that, and he knows,” Pareja said in his postgame remarks on Saturday. “It's time for him to show that he can create options and that he can also finish. Having Fabián in the mode of contributing to the team is crucial for us.”

The 21-year-old Colombian terrorized the Goats, prowling the wings and slicing the defense open with incisive through balls. Like the team as a whole, Castillo’s hard work paid off in the second half, when he notched Dallas’ first goal on a well-struck, first-time finish.

Castillo has played all 270 minutes so far this season and already has matched his scoring output from last season with two goals. His goal against Montreal on opening weekend ended a 1,571-minute goalless stretch that dates back all the way to last May 25.

In the past, Castillo’s contribution didn’t result in goals, which could make his early-season production a good sign for the long haul. If he can perform at this early level, it could go a long way to keeping unbeaten Dallas’ good start on track.

For his part, Castillo said he was encouraged by the team’s play so far – and his own.

"I feel better, but it's more a matter of gaining confidence,” he told reporters postgame on Saturday. “The coaching staff is comfortable letting me attack. They work with me a lot in training and the coaches give me the confidence to be creative. It is very helpful to be able to play with confidence."

Castillo said as a group, the forwards have been working on finishing two or three times per week.

“It has been paying off because we get into the matches and we have had some success scoring goals this season,” he said.