FRISCO, Texas — Amidst FC Dallas’ first victory in their first-ever CONCACAF Champions League appearance Thursday night, a 1-0 win over Alianza FC in San Salvador, another FC Dallas player has been preparing for a global competition.
Nineteen-year-old Colombian striker Fabián Castillo is currently in Colombia — the site of the FIFA U-20 World Cup — training with his national side ahead of their Group A match against France on Saturday.
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman expects the speedy forward, who has two goals and three assists in 15 MLS games this season, to have a major impact for Colombia.
“He’s doing very well,” said Hyndman. “From the information that I got from a supporter there was he did so well that the coach [Eduardo Lara] now has him potentially as a starter. He dropped some very good players and part of the thing was that Fabián came in such good shape.”
Hyndman also added that even though Castillo did not participate in the Toulon Tournament in France — which the Colombian U-20s won — his speed and ability to keep opponents unbalanced as well as his fitness from MLS play has made him a valuable commodity to los Cafeteros.
“I think he had improved in those six, seven weeks that he was with us because I think we brought some new structure to him,” added Hyndman. “He’s going to be gone for two months, so I hope he’s getting something out of it besides practice.”
Castillo is the lone MLS representative in the U-20 World Cup.
FCD CLOSE TO NEW SIGNINGS
While other MLS sides wheel and deal in efforts to reshape their rosters for a late-season playoff run, Hyndman and FC Dallas technical director Barry Gorman have been behind the scenes analyzing potential players to bring into the system.
On Thursday, the club made roster space — and freed up an international slot — by releasing Colombian forward Milton Rodríguez and former SuperDraft No. 5 overall pick Peri Marosevic, hinting that new players maybe on their way to north Texas.
But how just close are the defending Western Conference champions to bringing in new faces?
“Close,” said Hyndman. “As I said, we were going to be active and we are active. We’re very close in getting one player and we hope to have two new players on this team by August 15.”
INJURIES STILL AFFECTING TEAM
David Ferreira’s broken ankle could have been the straw that broke FC Dallas’ back in 2011, but Hyndman and his players have refused to make excuses, losing only twice in their past 16 games.
But other player’s injuries are still a concern for FC Dallas according to Hyndman.
“We have players that are nursing injuries right now that are playing 90 minutes,” Hyndman confessed. “What would we be like if we didn’t have to nurse those injuries and if they were fresh?”
Among those recovering include midfielder Andrew Jacobson, who is currently being used as a second-half substitute while he fully recovers from a hamstring injury.
“I’ve been getting a lot of work done the last few days and I feel a ton better,” Jacobson said before the team’s journey to El Salvador. “I really have to get rid of this problem as soon as possible.”
Jacobson played 19 minutes Thursday evening against Alianza, replacing Bruno Guarda in the 71st minute.
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy