BRENT LATHAM - Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tigres and potential USMNT left back Edgar Castillo says he is happy with his loan in Monterrey, and that he is hoping his play lands him an audition with the US in the near future.
The former Santos and Mexican Under-23 national team standout sat down with YA in Mexico City, where Tigres was in town for a weekend matchup with defending Mexican champions Pumas.
Castillo says the season-long loan spell from Club America has worked out well for him thus far, largely because he has been reunited with coach Daniel Guzman, the man who skippered Santos to the 2008 Clausura championship. Castillo figured prominently in that run, earning himself a number of call-ups to the Mexican national team, and a transfer to America.
But Castillo had a hard time adapting to the atmosphere and demands at the large Mexico City club, and says he has re-found his form in Monterrey.
"At Tigres I'm much happier," the New Mexico native said. "I'm the starter and I have a year to concentrate here. At America, I played the whole left side so I had to find the balance between offense and defense."
Castillo said finding that balance would be the key to getting him closer to the US national team, which he has defined as a professional goal for this season.
"Here I play on the left side," Castillo says. "I'm not that great at defending yet, but I'm working hard on it. In the national team I could play the same position, bringing that offensive side of the game to the wing."
Despite the national team's 2-1 loss at El Azteca last week, Castillo says he was watching with interest, and thought the Americans played well for spells.
"The Americans began very well at first, and then ran out of gas," Castillo observed.
The former ODP player, who turned out with Freddy Adu and Michael Orozco as a fourteen-year old, revealed that he has little idea what awaits after the year long loan spell at Tigres. For the meantime, Castillo says, he is content to concentrate on his performance at UANL, which is fighting relegation from Mexico's First Division.
"We're only in the fourth game so it's early to think ahead," the diminutive winger says about his future after Tigres. "Everything depends on what happens at America."
Tigres knocked off Pumas 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, leaving them in first place in Group Three with seven points from four games, and pulling them clear of relegation for the time being.