In a way it has been a long time coming for FC Dallas and midfielder Fabian Castillo.
You all know the story behind Castillo by now. A young Colombian player with loads of potential, brought to Dallas last spring as a Designated Player. The speed, the skill is all there but for the longest time it was all coming down to whether or not Castillo could actually put it all together and turn into a DP-style player that people expect him to be.
After the last few games, it is probably safe to say that Castillo is finally hitting his stride with FC Dallas. One part is he finally has a guy in the midfield in David Ferreira that can feed him a perfect pass any time he needs one. The other part is he is finally getting that final touch on the ball that is so critical for a quality goal scorer to have.
"He's maturing into the player we all hoped he would be," FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said following the game with the Colorado Rapids last Saturday.
Last Saturday Castillo had a man of the match performance thanks to his goal and assist effort. Last night Castillo again bagged a big-time goal to help lead FCD over the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0.
With games like this under Castillo as he matures as a person and a player only will bring good things to Dallas. At times he will still be a headache to watch as he tries to do too much but more and more we're seeing a player who has taken a step back and has figured a thing or two out.
Ferreira's value coming through
The game logs for Ferreira since his return are fun to look at. Five assist and one goal since his return a month ago. Since the Dallas DP has returned to the field, the club has gone 4-2-2 - good enough for 14 points. Not a bad turn around considering the club had just 15 points before so.
Last night was just another day at the office for the Colombian. Two assists on the two Dallas goals.
"What you saw of David is probably 80-85% of his natural ability," said Hyndman after the game. "I think you remember when he got taken down here. 15 months later and after three surgeries, he has been able to get on the field. He plays with a lot of heart and determination and it's everything you want from a player and today he was a difference maker. The team plays better with him and we've improved since he's been on the field. He's not a player I worry about. He's not a player that the game's too big for him. He's one of the best players I've been around."
Simply put - he is making the entire team better. There is no doubt that the league's top individual prize at the end of the year is always a debatable one given it's name - Most Valuable Player. Value of a player is always subjective to some and means different things to others but there is no denying Ferreira's value to this club. Without him they are a bottom dweller that is looking at a first overall draft pick in next January's draft. With him they at least have a slim chance at a playoff spot this season.
Shea finding his old self.
One last night on the day centers on Brek Shea. We've talked about this kid a bunch over the last several weeks from his tantrum in San Jose to his benching for a couple games to his return to the lineup.
Last night Shea helped cap off an historic night for the US Men's National team in Mexico. His dummy between Severo Meza's legs and tap over to Terrance Boyd who then tapped it over to Michael Orozco for the game winner showed the signs of Shea of old.
Daniel and I briefly discussed this on Twitter earlier this morning how Shea looks like the Shea of 2011 right now. He's confidence has back, his smile is back, and for the first time this season I think he is having fun again playing. That is huge going into the final nine games of the season.