Fabian Castillo is a peculiar talent.
The former Colombian youth international is an ingenious player that hasn’t quite unscrambled the secret behind superstardom. At the moment he’s taking baby steps, but he is on the cusp of discovering his world-class form .
This season, Castillo has shown that the gamble FC Dallas took four years ago is finally paying off. The 21-year-old hasn’t been phenomenal, but his shown several flashes of unparalleled soccer IQ.
In what has been an up and down season for FC Dallas, Castillo is giving the fans hope that the future is bright.
The young winger has dazzled under Oscar Pareja. The new manager has injected confidence, synergy and canny flair into Castillo’s game.
Because of Pareja’s guidance, Castillo’s understanding of the game has improved. He knows his role on the team, he’s aware of what has to be done and he isn’t hesitant to attack. He also understands that putting the team’s success before any personal ambitions is the fastest route to success.
Castillo’s improvement has been on display in his last two games. The Colombian helped his team end an eight game winless streak against the Colorado Rapids. The speedy winger played all ninety minutes, made some key defensive plays and scored the winning goal.
Castillo had a perfect mindset all throughout the game. He was bold, direct and instinctive. The Cali, Colombia native didn’t back down from one-on-one challenges, taking on his defender 10 times.
Even though he wasn’t awarded an assist, Zach Loyd wouldn’t have scored his first goal of the season if Castillo wasn’t so direct.
“Fabian kept taking guys on one on one so I knew he was going to take it in,” Loyd said. “I was following him in case something popped out and it did, and I happened to get a good strike on it.”
On his game winner, Castillo flaunted his footwork with a spectacular solo goal. He picked up a loose ball around the center circle, ran and dribbled past Colorado’s defenders and fired a blazing shot into the upper 90.
“When I got the ball, I saw a lot of space in the middle to my left,” he said. “Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn’t work. Luckily, this time it worked for me and it was a nice goal.”
On Wednesday, a new and improved Castillo showed up at the Providence Park. The Colombian played his best 45 minutes of the season against the Portland Timbers.
He was extremely brilliant on the ball, brought Blas Perez and Tesho Akindele into the game and his movement caused havoc for Portland’s backline.
Castillo’s goal against the Timbers shows the influence Pareja has had on the player.
He started the play on the right flank, but instead of standing around or asking for the ball, Castillo took advantage of the space vacated by Perez. He made a run to the edge of the 18 yard box and was picked out by the Panamanian forward. His first touch to with his chest was sublime, but his finish was even better.
His performances this season proves that Castillo will become one of the biggest stars in the league in the near future.
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