Fire introduce new DP Castillo

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BY ANTHONY ZILIS

Over two years have passed since Fire technical director Frank Klopas and managing director Javier Leon met Nery Castillo for coffee while on a scouting trip in England.

At that point, Castilo was on loan to Manchester City and in stellar form after leading Mexico to a third-place finish in the 2007 Copa America.

"We were actually thinking that one day, potentially, this guy could be a great addition to the Chicago Fire organization," Klopas said.

The Fire finally got their man, introducing Castillo as their newest designated player on Thursday.

"This time, when the opportunity arose and they showed interest in me I didn't think twice about it," Castillo said.

But whether Castillo can regain the form that had him pegged as a future star for El Tricolor remains to be seen.

Since his breakout summer in 2007, the 26-year-old striker has scored one goal for Mexico and one  for his club teams, which include Ukranian clubs Shakhtar Donetsk and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk as well as City.

His struggles culminated in well-publicized blow-ups at the Mexican media, where he complained that the press was over-critical. He wrapped up a March 2009 news conference by telling reporters, "The difference between me and you? That I’m in Europe and you’re here in Mexico. And you'll always be in Mexico."

Castillo, though, declined to delve into his confrontations with the Mexican media Thursday, though he did tell the Chicago Tribune's Luis Arroyave that the criticisms had something to do with his unwillingness to play for a Mexican club.

Instead, he spoke about the future.

After a few failed loan stints and injuries, Castillo already feels comfortable with the Fire. Head coach Carlos de los Cobos played for Castillo's father, who recently passed away.

"I knew the team had a good coach. I knew, by talking to my dad, that there would be great support," Castillo said.

As for questions about his character, Klopas has none.

"It's important that we get not only a good player but a good person," Klopas said. "I feel that this young man here is a good person, who is going to give a lot of quality to this team.

The speedy Castillo, who prefers to play as a withdrawn forward, hopes to revive his once-bright career in the footsteps of one of the most celebrated Mexican players of all time, Cuautemoc Blanco, who played two-and-a-half seasons with the Fire before returning to Mexico in the offseason.

"I spoke to Cuauhtemoc who said great things about the club," he said. "I know he was a very important player in this club, a very important player in Mexico, and a very important player for the Mexican national team. I hope to do as much as he did if not more to bring titles here to Chicago."

If Castillo can reach his potential and breath life into the Fire, who are out of the playoff picture and rank ninth in the league in attendance, as Blanco did, his signing will be considered a success.

Considering his career-arc, though, that's a big "if."

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34 Responses to Fire introduce new DP Castillo

  1. Johnny B says:

    career went south when he decided to play for El tri instead of the Yanks!

  2. Dave says:

    Stating the obvious and been said many times before…this dude has a gnarly unibrow.

  3. BooThisMan says:

    Nery Castillo was never eligible to play for the US.

  4. Daniel says:

    lol

  5. Al_OC says:

    Nery Castillo = Freddy Adu?

  6. Hi, Im Brian Fellows says:

    Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhh U-NI-BROW

  7. Matt C says:

    Anyone else think that this is nothing more than the next Sacha Baren Cohen movie? Coming to theaters in 2011… “Nery”

  8. Ron says:

    If only he chose uruguay instead of mexico…

  9. ManUFan1999 says:

    The difference is Nery wants to play in MLS and Adu is still looking for a team in Europe.

  10. Zmoks says:

    Wish him the best for the sake of MLS as a league, but this quite honestly will be a joke. However, if he does regain his previous form and even rejoin El tri, this could bring great benefits to the league as more “fallen” stars will seek to revive their careers here. Example, guys like Keane and michael owen. Even tho they both play in EPL.

  11. Eugene says:

    I can’t wait to see him play! This is an incredibly talented player who, three years ago, was easily the best player on the field for Mexico despite playing alongside Gio Dos Santos and Carlos Vela.

    I think he’ll be able to regain his form and demonstrate his considerable talent.

  12. Tommy says:

    Who cares. The Flamers will still suck.

  13. Ryan Smith says:

    Nice uni-brow. If he had a beard he would look like teen wolf. I’m drunk though..

  14. Dominghosa says:

    looks more like Claudio Reyna’s son …

  15. jcl says:

    All Hail Caesar

  16. Hush says:

    I hope he chokes and scores 0 goals in the MLS!lol It would be great if someone on the Fire were about to take a penalty kick and Castillo pulls another funny stunt by taking the ball away and taking it himself. I would pay to see that.

    Castillo you suck and couldn’t cut it in EPL! :)

  17. JCC says:

    I don’t see what national team he plays for has anything to do with his current form. His club play is what has done him in. He wouldn’t have made the Uruguay squad regardless the way he’s been playing since that Copa America.

  18. William the Terror says:

    i know. i thought that might be some sort of gang salute.

  19. Josh D says:

    I like it! +1!

  20. fischy says:

    So, Klopas freely admits to tampering?

  21. Josh D says:

    Um Owen plays for Manchester United, hardly fallen. And Keane still plays for Spurs and is linked with Celtic – non of those are fallen.

  22. Josh D says:

    Hail Hitler?

  23. patrick says:

    A) there’s no real tampering in soccer, look at Barca/Arsenal with cesc and B) he never said he made him an offer, was there to scout him, told him he wanted him in chicago etc etc, all it says is they met for coffee while on a scouting trip.

  24. mwc says:

    A report I saw this morning says that FC Sion did not offer Adu a contract after his trial ended. Ouch.

  25. BSU SC says:

    What?!?! Your comment makes no sense what so ever. Keane and Owen…the both play for Champions League teams.

  26. DC Josh says:

    I hope this isn’t another Denilson. He has loads of talent. Hope him the best for the benefit of the league.

  27. BSU SC says:

    Damn…do you have a link to that report? I’d like to see it. I think that would be the final nail in the coffin on his career in Europe.

  28. mwc says:

    It is on the FC Sion website. It basically says that “despite the undeniable qualities” of Adu, he does not fit into what they are looking for.

  29. jdavids says:

    He looks like a mexican jason lee. trade the stache for a unibrow

  30. Trent says:

    This guy will pretty much be a waste of space. Just like the city of Chicago.

  31. Chi-town Hammer says:

    FEAR THE UNIBROW!!!!

  32. Respect the Chi says:

    Tommy and Trent are morons

  33. Zmoks says:

    Point i was making is that even tho both these guys play for EPL teams, they are basically reserves and will see little playing time and the little time they see will be in cup games and games against lower level EPL teams. Both still at a good age, owen is 30 i think, and obviously still have alot to offer. Maybe the lure of DP money, if it is anywhere near what they make, could prove too much to avoid and also playing time.