BRIDGEVIEW Ill. – The Fire have Nery Castillo. The question is: How will they use him?
Chicago head coach Carlos de los Cobos could choose to keep his preferred 4-1-4-1 formation intact and slide Castillo to the wing. But with Marco Pappa and Patrick Nyarko (when healthy) entrenched on the flanks, that option doesn’t seem likely.
An alternative would be playing Castillo at forward, pairing him with Brian McBride or Collins John. Although this would require de los Cobos to switch from the aforementioned 4-1-4-1, it’s an option he seems to be leaning toward.
“We need to have two forwards, two quality forwards that can complement each other,” de los Cobos told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “I think maybe Nery can complement well with a striker like McBride or Collins John.”
Pairing the speedy Castillo with a target forward like McBride or John certainly seems like a natural fit. Playing Castillo up top would free up space for the other forward, requiring him to do less work on the ball and allowing him to advance into dangerous positions more freely.
Of course, all of this is assuming that the talented Castillo comes into the team in game form. Given his lack of playing time over the last three years, he may need time. However, de los Cobos doesn’t seem overly concerned.
“I am not really worried about it [his lack of playing time],” de los Cobos said. “He hasn’t played over the past years because of different reasons but there are things that he has regardless, like the talent, the personality, and the speed.”