FC Dallas fell 3-0 against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, but the team had plenty of chances throughout the game to keep it close. While the result surely wasn’t what they wanted, there were some positives to take away from the performance.
Fabian Castillo was one of those bright spots.
“Castillo caused a lot of problems for [RSL],” said head coach Schellas Hyndman. “Fabian was very dangerous for us tonight at attack.”
The forward created multiple scoring opportunities throughout the match, especially early on.
"I feel that when I saw the replay, I think the ball probably would have been in. I struck it very well but that’s the way it is in soccer," Castillo said through a translator after the game. "Sometimes your teammates are able to move away and the ball can go through but this time Kenny was trying to pull people out of the way and it was just unlucky."
Castillo also had a shot on goal in the 29th minute that was saved by RSL goalkeeper Josh Saunders. In the 64th minute, Castillo created a 1-on-1 opportunity against RSL’s second goalie of the night, which was unfortunately saved.
While Castillo played with intensity throughout the game, he was frustrated with his missed opportunities and the game's result.
"I felt it was a very difficult game. At the end, we lost three points at home. We got scored on three times that we shouldn’t have been scored on any of those plays and at the end it doesn’t matter how hard you work and the performance that you have on the field if you don’t get the three points," Castillo said.
One of the keys to Castillo’s success throughout the night was the play of FC Dallas’ midfielders, who set up opportunities for Castillo to breakaway.
“I think our two center midfielders, Jacobson and Michel, were winning a lot of balls in the midfield, they were very aggressive, and they were winning square balls, penetrating passes, and I think what it did for us was give us a break out where we were able to give the ball to Castillo and he could go on players 1-on-1,” Hyndman told reporters after the game. “He’s extremely quick with the ball and he’s lightning fast and I think it caused them a lot of problems because they really didn’t have anyone that could match up with him as far as pure speed.”
Castillo's intensity and creation have improved quite a bit over the course of the season and his performance on Saturday impressed Hyndman, who said it was one of his best performances of the season.
"As far as the full game, this was probably his best game for the full 90 minutes," Hyndman said.