FC Dallas have made a rather large transaction. They have unleaded star forward Fabian Castillo to Trabzonspor in the Turkish Super Liga. The mid-table club are sending a healthy sum of $4 million for the Colombian’s goal scoring prowess. They will get $2 million now and another $2 million in the next six months. If that second payment doesn’t show up, for whatever reason, Castillo would head back to Dallas. That fat sum of cash is the only reason the FC Dallas, and MLS, are making this move. Because it does the club no favors on the pitch. With Fabian Castillo sold, what happens next for the current Supporters Shield leaders?
Fabian Castillo sold, what does it mean for FC Dallas?
Fabian Castillo sale rumors have been floating around all season long, but they really picked up steam when he did not travel to Saturday’s match in Colorado. There are only two reasons Dallas would leave such a high profile player at home. Either he was injured, or he was finally being sold off. Turns out the latter was true.
Fabian Castillo has five goals for Dallas this season and 19 over the last two years with the club. He is their second leading scorer right now behind fellow Colombian Michael Barrios. He also has five assists, also second on the team. He’s an MLS offensive juggernaut and well worth the millions being sent to the league. Unfortunately, MLS is hurting itself by shipping off one of its most exciting players.
Castillo has wowed fans with his ball skills since day one. How can we forget this Rabona assist from just a week ago? Or him roasting three San Jose defenders and a keeper from two years ago? His MLS highlights are too numerous to accurately track down. Now, he will be making those moves and wowing the eyeballs of Turkish supporters, leaving MLS, once again, out on an electric player.
The Supporters Shield Race
Dallas is in the thick of the Supporters Shield race. After Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Colorado Rapids, they have a three point lead at the top of the league. Colorado, with it’s stingy defense, is right on their tail. Without the prolific winger around, can Dallas hold them off?
Saturday’s match was Dallas’s first without Castillo this season. Their replacement left wing was the aforementioned Barrios, who is far more effective from the other side of the pitch. All six of his goals have come from playing right wing or right midfield. On Saturday, while his passing was top notch, he wasn’t able to create any real chances for Dallas. It took a thunderous blast from Victor Ulloa to earn a point. Having the electric Castillo in the lineup could have gone towards earning the full three.
Thankfully, between Barrios, Tesho Akindele, Michael Hollingshead, and other young players, Dallas should have enough depth to maintain their position at the top.
Where the move really hurts is in Dallas’s appeal to it’s small fanbase. FC Dallas struggles to get fans to come out to its suburban stadium despite being top of the league. As of July 17, they were dead last in attendance per game with just under 14,000 fans. Taking away their most exciting player won’t help sell more tickets. It’s a good thing they got $4 million for him, because they won’t be collecting that in gate receipts any time soon.
FC Dallas can use the cash to make this sale worth it. Despite scoring a league leading 35 goals, they have trouble keeping their opponents off the scoreboard. Only two Western Conference teams have conceded more times, so using the money to purchase a defender would be far from a bad idea.
In the end, while the influx in cash will be nice for both club and league, the costs on the field will need to be dealt with. Yes, The $4 million payment is the largest MLS has received for a non-USMNT player, but Dallas better put their share of the fee to work by bolstering their defense. If they don’t, Dallas needs to hope the money is worth not having one of the league’s top players anymore.
Main Photo: Vaughn Ridley, Getty Images Sport