Once every offseason, one MLS team brings aboard a young promising attacking player from CONCACAF. In 2008 it was Marco Pappa. In 2009 it was Freddy Montero. And in 2010, it will be Cristian Castillo.
DC United finalized a loan last week to bring Salvadoran left midfielder Castillo to DC. In various different highlights, including the one below, it's clear that Castillo has excellent ball skills. Even more impressive though was his header over Frankie Hejduk during World Cup Qualifying. Not only does Castillo give us a new element of speed in our attack, which is something that has been long missing for United, but he also gives us another target for Santino Quaranta's crosses.
Cristian Castillo's defensive abilities and crossing skills are not obviously evident from the highlight reels, but that could just be because those aren't exactly as sexy as his dribbling. Castillo is certainly quick, and he's good on the ball. Which actually makes me think of another midfielder who came here highly regarded and with a similar skill set: Fred. Hopefully Castillo adjusts better to our style of play, but if he requests his jersey to say "CRISTIAN", I'll really be nervous.
Castillo's speed will undoubtedly be a great asset for DC United, and his Salvadoran heritage is sure to put fans in the seats. I'm just hoping his sometimes over-the-top dribbling doesn't hold us back.
Here's a prediction though:
If Cristian Castillo plays in almost every game for DCU this season, he will be one of the top 5 fouled players in MLS.