The vision of Edgar Castillo’s debut with FC Cincinnati inched closer into eyesight as defender Ronald Matarrita continued to rehab a calf injury in the days leading up to FCC’s match against Colorado on Saturday.
The status of Matarrita remained questionable just 48 hours before the FCC 2-0 loss, but for Castillo the time didn’t matter.
“We all prepare. I’m just right behind him (Matarrita) and we just train for whenever Jaap needs us and I guess he needed me for this game because Matarrita was hurt,” Castillo said, noting he's always prepared for a game-time appearance. “You just got to be ready whenever you’re needed.”
Castillo joined FC Cincinnati in April as a veteran signee. He’s played seasons with Atlanta United, New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids.
Since he joined FCC he’s been an unused sub.
Stam said he chose Castillo because he knows his ability to get pass plays and link up with the players in front of him.
“I think Edgar did very well. I know what type of player he is, the experience he has and also the ability on the ball,” Stam said. “Because of the injury to Matarrita, you’re always looking for what’s the best player at that time that can step in there. Edgar at that time has been very consistent in what he has been doing since he arrived at the club and what he’s been bringing in training sessions so that was quite an easy choice for me.”
Castillo nabbed the start on Saturday and played in front of TQL Stadium's first full-capacity crowd until he was replaced with Brandon Vazquez in the 77th minute.
“I felt a little nervous, like if that was my first game ever that I’ve played in MLS, but I think I did good,” Castillo said. “But it wasn’t the result we wanted.”
On paper, FC Cincinnati had one of their best games to date with 22 shots, seven on goal.
With opportunities brewing in the picture-perfect moments for the FCC, Colorado’s goalkeeper William Yarbrough proved to be the Rapids’ biggest weapon, not letting anything past him.
“We had, as you saw, opportunities to finish and score those goals, I think sometimes it’s missing just the calmness to finish those plays,” Alan Cruz said postgame. “They had good saves, we had two opportunities and couldn’t finish them off and at that point when you have those opportunities and you can’t finish them it does bring a little bit of frustration.”
Stam said the missed opportunities also fall on the decision-making practices of his athletes.
“I give him (Yarbrough) credit. Also, we sometimes make it easy because we shoot that ball against him so he doesn’t need to do a lot," Stam said. "When you see the plays, everybody is very disappointed, down because also we spoke about it like every week, the players feel they’re close.”
FC Cincinnati will hit the road next week for a match against Chicago on Wednesday and Toronto on Saturday.