FRISCO, Texas – He’s been called the future face of the franchise and one of, if not, the fastest players in Major League Soccer. But life is not all roses for FC Dallas forward Fabián Castillo.
For all his promise, Castillo has also been criticized for being unable to put away opportunities and score crucial goals for his team.
“At moments, I feel like I play too fast and that’s why I lose the ball very easily,” Castillo told MLSsoccer.com. “The ball just leaves me, and I can’t get it back, but it’s my style of play. I have some of the best speed in the league, so I just have to learn to control it.”
WATCH: Castillo scores first goal of 2012
Against the Columbus Crew last Saturday, the 19-year-old finally got a handle on the ball and netted his first goal of the 2012 campaign, silencing his critics – for now, at least.
“I’m so happy that I finally scored my first goal of the season,” Castillo said. “I’ve been working hard after so many missed opportunities. I’m going to keep working harder to keep scoring them.”
Perhaps 31-year-old striker Blas Pérez deserves some credit for the goal as well. As one of the squad’s most experienced players and a fellow Spanish speaker, Pérez has taken Castillo under his wing, giving him pointers in the art of finishing.
“He just got here this season, but he’s a player that always talks to me and has taught me so many different moves,” Castillo said of the Panamanian. “He’s also showed me how to finish and score goals.”
But with Pérez in and out of the lineup as of late and a multitude of injuries hampering the team, the young Colombian has a lot of weight on his shoulders as FC Dallas slog their way through a six-game winless streak.
“It’s not just me but Brek [Shea] and Blas are feeling it, too,” Castillo said. “We have the obligation to raise our level of play. There are a lot of players that are injured, and we’re just working harder.”
Castillo hopes their hard work will finally pay off on Saturday when FC Dallas, who currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference and are already 14 points behind leaders Real Salt Lake, host a reeling Philadelphia team (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online) that has also failed to notch a victory this month.
“I feel the team has been playing well, but the results haven’t shown that,” Castillo said. “We just haven’t had any luck. On Saturday, we hope to start winning again and get some points.”