While blogs and fans hypothesize about how much of an impact players such as Rodolfo Zelaya, Jerry Bengsten and Carlo Costly would make in a Houston Dynamo uniform, the club’s front office is taking a chance on an under-the-radar player.
Ecuadorian forward Miler Castillo, who is currently with second-tier Mexican club Lobos de la BUAP, will join Houston on a two week trial starting Wednesday.
Castillo landed on the Dynamo’s radar at the recommendation of scouts in Mexico.
“[Castillo’s] in the Mexican second division, but they know about him and think he’s a good fit for MLS and a good player,” Dynamo president of business operations Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com by phone Tuesday.
According to Canetti, those same scouts compared the 23-year-old Castillo to another Ecuadorian forward in Mexico, Christian Benítez.
In particular, Canetti pointed to the scout’s recommendation that Castillo is a forward who’s speedy — something the Dynamo covet — but who will be able to withstand the physical tolls that come with playing in MLS. That’s a hurdle many international players struggle to deal with upon arriving in the US.
Castillo has tallied four goals in 16 matches with Lobos. However, Castillo will now get a chance to impress Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear and show that he has the ability to make an impact at what the club feels is a need position.
Houston’s had success this year with trialists, landing both Je-Vaughn Watson and Jermaine Taylor after the pair showcased their abilities in the preseason. Castillo will be given the same opportunity in the coming weeks, culminating with a chance to showcase his skills in a recently scheduled reserve match against the Monterrey U-20s on July 10.
Canetti did not specify on Castillo’s current contract position with Lobos. However, he was clear that if the 5-foot-9 forward impresses, the club would explore every option to finalize a deal.
“When we found out he was able to come on trial, we said, 'Yes,'” Canetti said. “In soccer, you never know where you can find a diamond in rough.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.
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