Regardless of how this Fabian Castillo transfer saga ends (he’s gone), his initial signing back in March of 2011 has set the club up to be a dominant force in the transfer market for years to come. In his five and a half seasons at FC Dallas, he’s been transformed from raw pacey winger, to the fringes of being a regular with one of the best national teams in the world.
His 2015 call-ups to the Colombian national team propelled Oscar Pareja, Fernando Clavijo and FC Dallas from “Who?” to “I need to get to Frisco” type of club from young promising soccer players. While most players around the world will not know much about Castillo and FC Dallas in the onset, you can bet that Castillo’s rise and development as a player is part of Clavijo’s 2 minute elevator pitch now.
After Castillo’s surprise call-ups, Dallas has been able to compete at a stronger level against clubs around the world (within reason) for the signature of more desirable players.
Carlos Gruezo - January 2016
Before making his way to Texas, Ecuadorian international, Carlos Gruezo was plying his trade in the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart and had made the Ecuadorian World Cup roster in 2014. However, by 2015, Gruezo was no more than a squad player and eventually lost his place with he Ecuadorian national team. Needing a change, he made his transfer to Dallas and has since then regained a more regular spot with Ecuador’s senior team. In my eyes, Gruezo is already a top 5 midfielder in the league at the ripe age of 21. Such a high quality player from the Bundesliga and World Cup experience doesn’t just suddenly decide to come to Dallas and MLS for no reason.
Anibal Chala - December 2016
Gruezo’s signing and return to the Ecuadorian national team had to play a significant part in Anibal Chala’s decision to also make his way north to Dallas, TX. In fact, he already referenced his desire to make the Ecuadorian national team through Dallas:
Of course, this comment was not lost with Technical Director Fernando Clavijo and certainly something that came up during the contract negotiations.
Obviously getting players like this are also a double-edged sword as they break into their respective national teams and end up missing some MLS matches for Dallas. But as players continue to develop and crack the national team, you an expect these types of players to become the transfer window norm around these parts thanks to Oscar Pareja’s foresight to snag Castillo early on and have the patience to develop him into a top winger.
Regardless of how ugly Castillo’s exit from the club may be, Dallas will reap the benefits of their hard work and dedication to youth. Dallas may spring for a “marquee” signing at some point, but as long as Oscar Pareja is around, continue to expect this to be the main transfer window plan. After all, this is Dallas’ best marketing chip available and it’s a damn good one too.