FRISCO, Texas _ After a long run of poor results and mixed efforts, the game against Colorado was definitely a gut-check moment. FC Dallas answered with determination, some luck and just enough flair to give everyone supporting the North Texas side reason to believe, with midfielder Fabian Castillo leading the way, creating danger in the attack and eventually scoring the beautiful individual matchwinner in a 3-2 victory.
“Fabian creates a lot of options,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “He showed some improvement in his finishing today. He created the play. He took the people on and the finishing was fantastic.”
The early going for Dallas could not have gone worse, as two players had to be substituted out with injuries and they gave up the opening goal in the 23rd minute. But Castillo’s determination to attack regained momentum for Dallas, anda Andres Escobar scored the equalizer, Castillo helped Dallas take the lead through a first-half stoppage-time strike by defender Zach Loyd.
“Fabian kept taking guys on one on one so I knew he was going to take it in,” said Loyd. “I was following him in case something popped out and it did, and I happened to get a good strike on it.”
After Colorado tied the match in the 52nd minute, it was Castillo once again that made the difference. In the 62nd minute, Tesho Akindele won a challenge near midfield, and Castillo picked up the second ball. He turned upfield and ran at the right side of the Rapids defense, beating three players on the dribble in the process. Near the corner of the penalty area, he unleashed a well struck effort that beat Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
“When I got the ball, I saw a lot of space in the middle to my left,“ Castillo said. “Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn’t work. Luckily, this time it worked for me and it was a nice goal.”
“He was able to capitalize on a bit of sloppy play by Colorado in the middle,” said midfielder Victor Ulloa. “Fabian and Tesho were able to combine and win the ball back then Fabian just did his thing. He put it in the back of the net - What a golazo.”
Castillo celebrated the goal by putting the ball under his shirt, and revealed that his strong performance was motivated not only by the team's desparate need for a win, but also by something more personal.
"I dedicated [the goal] to my wife because she’s pregnant," he said, "so it was for her and my baby that is coming."
Does he think impending fatherhood has any bearing on his performance on the field?
"They’re two different things," Castillo said. "I know there’s a lot of responsibility with being a father, but this is my work and it’s another type of responsibility. But I’m taking it and enjoying it."