FRISCO, Texas — Unpredictable. Electric. Playmaker. Finisher.
All of these words described Fabián Castillo’s performance Saturday night as the 18-year-old Colombian was all over the pitch, scoring a goal and an assist for FC Dallas in a 2-0 win over Philadelphia. Through nine games in MLS, Castillo has two goals and two assists, and FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman loves what he’s seeing out of his teen sensation.
“He is definitely a difference-maker for us and at this point in time,” Hyndman said in the postgame press conference. “I think what we will see from Fabián is just continued growth in his play.”
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On Saturday, Castillo used his speed, creativity and hard-working nature to stymie the Union back line throughout the night.
In the 29th minute, he ran at defender Carlos Valdés, sped by him and slotted a through ball across the mouth of the goal to a wide-open Brek Shea, who tapped the ball into the Union net. Upon scoring the goal, Shea ran to Castillo, embraced him and pointed to the name on the back on Castillo’s jersey so that everyone would know who deserved the credit.
In the 43rd minute, Castillo struck again, this time getting the goal. Defender Jackson Gonçalves darted down the right side line and sent in the perfect cross to a waiting Castillo who was nestled in between two Union defenders.
The Colombian U-20 striker headed the ball past Faryd Mondragón without difficulty and gave FC Dallas an even bigger lead.
“I felt very good,” said Castillo to reporters after the game. “I think that the team played well and we got three points. It was a good pass to Brek and I need to continue working hard for the team.”
Having been with the team for nearly two months now, Castillo is doing his job within Hyndman’s system.
“I feel comfortable,” Castillo said. “I am playing forward and things are going well and I am hope that things continue to go well. Little by little, the team is improving. We are now getting points and we have had many good games.”
Since David Ferreira’s injury at Vancouver on April 23, FC Dallas are unbeaten over their last five games, with a 4-0-1 mark. Castillo has been integral to the attack while Ferreira’s recovers from an ankle injury.
Saturday’s game was just another in the development of Hyndman’s prized acquisition. And with development comes highs and lows.
“Every time you see him give a ball away, you think, ‘Oh my God, how could he do that?’” the FCD coach said. “And then he comes back and does something really outstanding.”