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United Acquires Castillo

UPDATED WITH VIDEO 2:14 P.M.

D.C. United announced Friday that it has signed midfielder Cristian Castillo, a member of the Salvadoran national team who will join United on loan from Leon, a second-division Mexican club. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Castillo will join the team upon receipt of his international transfer certificate and work visa.

"We are excited to acquire a young player like Cristian, who we feel is one of the most talented players in El Salvador," United General Manager Dave Kasper said in a statement released by the team. "He has performed well at the club level and certainly established himself as one of the most important players on the national team in the recent World Cup qualifying campaign. Cristian has excellent speed and technical ability, and will be an exciting addition to our midfield."

Castillo, 25, has made 32 appearances with El Salvador's national team. He scored against the United States in each of the teams' two World Cup qualifiers in the final round. In a 2008 friendly against Trinidad and Tobago at RFK Stadium, he scored the lone goal in a 3-1 loss.

YouTube video with Castillo's highlights after the jump.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  December 18, 2009; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Akron's Bunbury to MLS

Comments

Sweet!

Posted by: Senor_Funk | December 18, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Prepare for further embarassment, HeyDude!!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 18, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

yes!. he's a beast. will easily b the freddy montero of this year. maybe even better. it would also be nice if we got Rodlfo Zeleya. He's a striker that we really need to help Pontius up top next year. He's speedy and single-handedly schooled Mexico's defense in the first game we beat them. Not to talk about the attendence numbers will increase with the large Salvadorean community. It would only get better if we brought both of them.

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 18, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

RFK is gonna look like Estadio Cuscatlan that 1st game he plays lol...and all season if the team is real deal.

Posted by: ESFan21 | December 18, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, from the vids - he certainly looks to be creative and talented. Nice foot skils, good first touch, occasionally has an air game. For the left side, hope he can distribute too. And hope he's got the fitness for a loan arrangement.

That's one. Now if we can get a central defender/leader and a reliable keeper....

Posted by: inbetweenswims | December 18, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

RFK is gonna look like Estadio Cuscatlan that 1st game he plays lol...and all season if the team is real deal.

Posted by: ESFan21 | December 18, 2009 1:55 PM |

AGREED!

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Reposting becuase it's more appropriate here:

Either Castillo is very diplomatic, or he's got an interesting and very different appreciation of RFK than the rest of us...

From a BTB Q&A:

"When we went to that Stadium to play with the national team, it’s a very beautiful stadium."

-----


As for Zelaya -- not sure if you read this, but it seems Leon is inclined to hold on to him for the upcoming Clausura season. They signed the three Salvadoreans they had on loan a couple of weeks ago, and immediately announced that they were looking at loaning Castillo to MLS, but hanging on to the others. They're looking to hire a new D.T., and want all 3 to be available for the new D.T. to decide who he wants to keep "permanently". I guess we should stayed tuned for further developments with Leon.

Posted by: fischy | December 18, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Is this where we post comments about how awful the FO is at signing exciting, young players?

RE; Salvadoran attendance.
It's great for the occasional national team match at Cuscatlan EEUU (i.e. RFK), but expecting an attendance bolus beyond the early part of the season may be wishful thinking. Remember, when the El Salvardoran community boycotted DCU after RDA was traded (the first time), the drop in attendance was barely 1,000.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 18, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

fischy,

im from El Salvador. a stadium like RFK is one helluva a stadium in a poor country like ES.

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 18, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

fischy,

oh and where did you read this about Zelaya? can i have the link. zeleya in SOME not all peoples opinion is better than Castillo and he's only 21 if remember correctly.

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Is "Matt Bonesteel" Goff's porn name?

Posted by: Wiggan | December 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

It'll be good to have such a skillful, attack-oriented defender to watch each week. My eldest son is a left-footed outside back who fancies himself a wing. He'll have the chance to watch how it's properly done -- assuming Castillo does drop back and defend now and then.

Isn't Marc Burch somewhere in the Pacific on a humanitarian trip? I wonder if he's aware of his new competition.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

St. Nick comes a few days early for United and their fans. Nice!

And from the general feeling on Castillo's play, it doesn't look like United is trying to simply appease the Salvadoran community. A win for both sides.

Vamos United!

Posted by: delantero | December 18, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Wiggan is whack.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Is the loan for the entire season?

Posted by: delantero | December 18, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The timing of this announcement is pretty good because a #17 Castillo replica will make a nice Xmas present for your amigos Salvadoreños. Is it in the store yet?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 18, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Is "Matt Bonesteel" Goff's porn name?
Posted by: Wiggan

lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

Posted by: rockotodd | December 18, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Wiggan. Not only is Matt Bonesteel Goff's porn name, but it's also the name of his recently appointed soccer editor. Of course, Steve is pretty much the world's greatest self-starter and hardly needs an editor, but I've been tasked with helping him shape our soccer coverage over the huge year ahead. And since he's traveling today on his hard-earned vacation, I'm pitching in on the blog.

In any case, if you ever have any questions or comments on The Post's soccer coverage (or its college sports coverage, which is also my domain) my e-mail is bonesteelm@washpost.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted by: Matt Bonesteel | December 18, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Those are great names." -Jack Horner

Posted by: EdTheRed | December 18, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

ah, so Mr. BS...you're the guy who won't let Goff take vacations?

seriously, good of you to take over the task so Goff can get to the beach. welcome aboard.

and as for coverage of the huge year ahead, please keep the coverage up on the ladies, both NT and WPS.

Posted by: troy6 | December 18, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering the same thing, Wiggan.

Posted by: sitruc | December 18, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

That was fast. Matt Bonesteel, who clearly doesn't need a nickname, is already:

"Mr. BS"

This is an excellent development.

Posted by: JkR- | December 18, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Mr. BS is any better than his actual name, troy6.

We're all looking forward to a great year, Matt. Thanks for everything.

Posted by: sitruc | December 18, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wait. Typically, clubs loan a guy when they have no intention of playing him in their first team, nor of even placing him in the game day roster. Right?

So I fail to see how it correlates that this guy is going to come in and take MLS by storm if he can't even make the game day roster for a second division mexican club.

Besides, he's too small. He's going to get crushed by some goon, with his playing style in MLS.

I'll remain skeptical.

Posted by: Matte | December 18, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Goffs, take some time off, buddy.

Posted by: Matte | December 18, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It is odd that none of those clips have him in a Leon uniform. Not only that, but they just bought him on a permanent basis on 12/3. Who loans out 25 y.o. wingers with this type of skill ? Maybe he belongs in a circus more than on a soccer field like what Beckenbaur said about Robinho.

But we will wait and see if he can play with a team or he's a sideshow Bob. :-)

Posted by: Charisma_Man | December 18, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the last time the top scorer of the Mexican 1a (2nd division) came to MLS, and failed. Roberto Nurse of Chivas USA ...

Posted by: Charisma_Man | December 18, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Bonesteel--Solid! Coming up huge on this scoop.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | December 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Me thinks this guy will be all sizzle, no steak.

Notice that not once in that video does he cross the ball after beating a defender.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 18, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

It is odd that none of those clips have him in a Leon uniform. Not only that, but they just bought him on a permanent basis on 12/3. Who loans out 25 y.o. wingers with this type of skill ? Maybe he belongs in a circus more than on a soccer field like what Beckenbaur said about Robinho.

But we will wait and see if he can play with a team or he's a sideshow Bob. :-)

Posted by: Charisma_Man | December 18, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

--------------

I'm worried about that too. Video shows an exciting young player with some good skills and talent, but those types are a dime a dozen in Central and South America. Can he play as a team? Can he track back and defend? Can he cross a decent ball? I hope the answer is yes to all. I'm excited to see how this turns out.

Posted by: Atlanta4MLS | December 18, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering too who this fella "Matt Bonesteel" was. I got my answer soon enough.

Welcome to the wackiness that is Soccer Insider, Matt. And while you're at it, make sure Mr. Goff keeps an eye on the lower divisions of American soccer. The relatively still waters of MLS, at the top of the US pyramid, are running deep with turmoil at the second and third division levels.

Other than that, carry on... :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 18, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

In any case, if you ever have any questions or comments on The Post's soccer coverage (or its college sports coverage, which is also my domain) my e-mail is bonesteelm@washpost.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
========================

Matt, the flood gates are open...

Can you cover my daughter's U14 WAGS team? They're amazing!!!! They're awesome!!!! They're incredible!!!! Really!!!!

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 18, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

joedoc:

Burch ought to be nervous about Wallace getting moved back, or some new left back being signed or drafted. Actually, he should just be nervous, full stop. It'll be very hard to justify keeping him as a starter.

Matte:

You mean like Donovan and Montero? How about Chris Rolfe?

You're free to be skeptical, but it seems irrational to me to believe that one speedy sub-5'10" player will definitely get injured while others thrive.

I have no idea what caused Leon to loan Castillo out, but I do know what I saw out of him throughout qualifying. On the balance, I'm left feeling optimistic about it. The kid can play. Maybe Castillo told Leon he wants to move, but they think they can raise his price if he comes here and impresses? Who knows? Mexican clubs do strange things sometimes.

Atlanta4MLS:

If his play in qualifying is any indicator, then the answers to your questions are yes, yes, and at least sometimes. Add to that a nose for goal, some speed, good leaping ability, and at least some understanding of how to avoid dribbling into blind alleys and crowds.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 18, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

""but I've been tasked with helping him shape our soccer coverage over the huge year ahead. And since he's traveling today on his hard-earned vacation,""

My advice, Mr. Huesito, would be to let Mr. Goff do his thing. And make certain he gets a Safari paid for on the Post expense account while in South Africa.

But thanks for pitching in.

Posted by: delantero | December 18, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If I were the Post's soccer editor, my first task would be to travel to South Africa to help Steve. After that, I'd give Steve an unlimited expense account to cover MLS, WPS, etc. Then I'd throw a huge kegger at RFK for the Soccer Insider loyalists.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 18, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

OK, could somebody explain to me how Castillo was supposed to fit in with Caleb Porter's style of soccer? On one hand, you have a two-touch max, possession oriented, attack whose pace is driven not by individual speed but by moving the ball rapidly from player to player. On the other, you rely on individual initiative and athleticism to drive the ball through the midfield into the final third, emphasis on counterattack. That's kind of like, um, opposite. If Porter is what you ideally want, is Castillo what you need? Or is it, since we're not getting Porter, let's change the playing style altogether? Or is this a take-any-good-player-you-can-get-and-figure-it-out-later kind of thing? Or what? (Not that I won't enjoy watching Castillo!)

Posted by: dccal | December 18, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Forget this guy, I'm way more psyched that we exercised the option to purchase Shipalane!

Posted by: edgeonyou | December 18, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll bring chips.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 18, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I like this move for United. It brings a young fast attack-oriented player into the mix. His size doesn't bother me since he'll mostly be on the flanks in an attacking role. Don't forget, everyone's favorite Benny isn't that big and he held up for 12 years (if a bit battered and bruised by the end).

As far as the loan deal, Leon could just be looking to get him some international exposure by playing in MLS. Or, they may not see him winning any real playing time for the next year, so why not make some money off him while they can.

Posted by: SoccerVA | December 18, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can have a new drinking game for who takes more beautiful and highly technical touches without actually advancing the ball, Castillo or Fred.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 18, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that this guy's pretty much Fred part duece, hopefully im way wrong on that one but on another note, if United is concentrating on solidifying it's place amongst the Salvadorean community....then why does it seem they've totatlly neglected the Bolivian folks as well?? It might just be me but i feel like United has had a sorta tradition of having influential Bolivian presence, mainly Jamie and Marco, but seems like there's no connections in place for scouting Bolivian players, young talented players at that. Like i said it might just be me but give that Jaime has one good yr left in him, if that, i think it'd be nice to bring in someone like Juan Carlos Arce or even someone like Samuel Galindo to kinda pass on the torch....just sayin lol, either VAMOS UNITED!! :)

Posted by: DjB55 | December 18, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe he'll work his a&s off both ways like Ivan Guerrero did, and also provide some scoring bite and quality service.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 18, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I like this as much as I do getting to go to Charleston in March.


As in, a lot


Also, I saw Chest is on twitter? What's the username?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 18, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

DjB55-

Don't worry, you're way wrong. Fred and this player really don't have much in common, in that Fred was never a great scoring threat and was never meant to be a winger. If he plays anything like he did in qualifying, he should be skilled and scrappy, a high grade wing player.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 18, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Castillo, I mean. This is a good signing.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 18, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Seems to me that this guy's pretty much Fred part duece,"

But the video shows this guy advancing the ball more than I've seen Fred do.

I almost went to all-caps for 'advancing,' that's how earnest I am.

Maybe we'll draw not only more Salvadorenos but also more Christians, since we have more than other teams now . . . for the time being anyway . . .

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 18, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Where are all of the Kevin Payne whiners now?

Posted by: Reignking | December 18, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Not only is Matt Bonesteel Goff's porn name, but it's also the name of his recently appointed soccer editor.

Posted by: Matt Bonesteel | December 18, 2009 2:25 PM

------------------------------------------

Wow. What are the odds that Goff's new editor would have the same name as Goff's porn moniker?

Welcome, Matt.

Vamos United!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 18, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe he belongs in a circus more than on a soccer field like what Beckenbauer said about Robinho""

Uh, Mr. Beckenbauer is eating some crow about now, huh?

Castillo will need to connect, but he's good in small spaces, shows some speed, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: delantero | December 18, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'll reserve judgment until we see how Castillo handles getting repeatedly clattered into by a typical MLS back line. Assuming they can catch him, that is.

Posted by: Kenobi | December 18, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Castillo seems more like competition for Wallace then Burch? Unless they plan on dropping Wallace back.

Posted by: joe_hill | December 18, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm seeing a Central Midfield without a #10 next season...

Castillo--Wallace--Simms--Szetela

I don't see that as a bad thing either, especially with Pontius and Quaranta up top, or you could drop Quaranta back to RM (which I dislike), Wallace back to DL, and Szetela in the middle with Simms.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 18, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody have any idea how long this loan deal is for? All I've heard so far is we acquired him.

Posted by: JaimeSegundo | December 18, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

My concern is that the terms weren't disclosed because the loan period isn't very long.

Posted by: JaimeSegundo | December 18, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I imagine it's a season-long loan, likely with an option to buy.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 18, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

This is one video by one fan, it's not a scouting video. Commenting on his style of play based on it is ludicrous. It's may just be put together by a Salvadoran who isn't into Leon & likes fancy foot work. Nothing more. Yeah, I know it's the interwebs, but use your brain. No slights intended to anyone.

@EdTheRed
RE "Those are great names." -Jack Horner

That line was Chest Rockwell's. Shame on you. :-)

Welcome aboard, Bonesteel! Who does number two work for? Sorry, it does sound like an Austin Powers movie name. I know, you've heard this BS since you were 6 but... um, are you related to Steely Dan?

Winter in DC! Been a few years!!

Posted by: KireDCU | December 18, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

This is one video by one fan, it's not a scouting video. Commenting on his style of play based on it is ludicrous. It's may just be put together by a Salvadoran who isn't into Leon & likes fancy foot work. Nothing more. Yeah, I know it's the interwebs, but use your brain. No slights intended to anyone.

@EdTheRed
RE "Those are great names." -Jack Horner

That line was Chest Rockwell's. Shame on you. :-)

Welcome aboard, Bonesteel! Who does number two work for? Sorry, it does sound like an Austin Powers movie name. I know, you've heard this BS since you were 6 but... um, are you related to Steely Dan?

Winter in DC! Been a few years!!

Posted by: KireDCU | December 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

It will take me probably 25 minutes of DC United football before I want to throw my remote at the TV watching this dude do all that nonsense, waste of energy footwork.

I sure hope he can also play a more direct style.

Posted by: SadieV | December 19, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Fred, Gomez, Jaime, Olsen, Emilio: That's an expensive bench. And all of them sat there for big chunks of last season. I hope Castillo is the low-priced option at left mid that allows us to start the process of dumping our expensive bench warmers and spend the available money to bring in an infustion of quality up top, at center midfield, and in central defense. We need to rebuild the central core, the "spine," of our squad.
Adios, Fred. Even though you were horrid last year, you were a nice guy, and we wish you all the best wherever you land.

Posted by: rcdwriting | December 19, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

I hope this is not simply a marketing move. I know nothing of the player and I won't insult him by speculating on his skills.

But Salvadorans will definitely come to the games in droves to see one of their own National Team stars. The Front Office knows this and in the current economy with attendance down, they have got to be considering every means of increasing revenue. The lack of a Soccer Stadium is killing the bottom line so ticket receipts are the only variable revenue source they've got.

When I read 'Castillo', I thought Edgar!? Nery(:. I hope this kid's the real deal because a failed Salvadoran player is as big a risk to the fanbase as a successful one will be benefical.

The fact that he scored on USA and El Tri make me very, very happy so I my heart tells me he will be the 2010 breakout, early-to-mid career coming from established success in a foreign league, allstar.

Posted by: united_ph | December 19, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This video has some highlights of Castillo with Leon : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOufSvOfKsY

Posted by: ESFan21 | December 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I also want to point out that the video Goff used for this page was made in March 2009...Castillo went to Leon in August of 2009...

Posted by: ESFan21 | December 19, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

... um, are you related to Steely Dan?
__________________________________________

Or for those of us of a more Anglophilic/medievalist persuasion, are you related to Steeleye Span?

Posted by: universityandpark | December 20, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

97 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Never thought that I'd read a Steeleye Span reference here or anywhere else.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 20, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I do hope he will settle down and play well with others. I am thrilled to see life-or-death soccer passion, plus speed. And, if he can go up and over Hey-dude, his size is obviously not an issue. But I am already fretting that 90% of his passes (at least in these two videos) are to himself.

Posted by: ldmay | December 20, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

RFK is gonna look like Estadio Cuscatlan that 1st game he plays lol...and all season if the team is real deal.

AGREED!!!!

Posted by: quelepa1 | December 22, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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