Colorado Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja was instrumental in bringing highly-rated 20-year-old Colombian winger Fabian Castillo to FC Dallas last spring.
Pareja recruited Castillo to Dallas and put the midfielder up in his home for weeks as the youngster adapted to a new country.
Thus it’s only fitting then that Castillo snagged the 81st-minute game-winner in FCD’s come-from-behind road victory over Pareja’s Rapids.
“Today I thought [Castillo] was really very much engaged throughout the game and I think a big part of that might have been external,” Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the game. “When we brought him into the team, he stayed with Oscar for three or four weeks. So he has that relationship with Oscar and I think he wanted to do well to show Oscar it was a good decision to bring him here.”
Castillo’s second-half goal lifted a major monkey off the back of FC Dallas, and could potentially be the spark that lifts FCD back into the Western Conference playoff hunt. With the win Saturday they ended a 13-game, 92-day winless streak, tied for the fourth longest in MLS history. They also snapped a nine-game road winless streak dating back to October 12, 2011.
It was desperation time, and Castillo delivered.
“The play started with Carlos [Rodriguez] getting a good shot on goal where the keeper had to deflect it into space where there was two FC Dallas players,” Castillo said of his goal. “Fortunately I was able to get on top of it, make some separation with my first touch, and put it in. It was good motivation for me to get on the scoresheet.”
It’s a bit of a relief, too, for a player who’s been long on creativity but short on production this season.
Now, though, it’s a quick turnaround for FC Dallas as they head to San Jose for a game against the league leaders on Wednesday. For Castillo and his teammates, that means the celebrations were muted at the final whistle against the Rapids.
“Once we start collecting more wins then we can start thinking about celebrating,” Castillo said.