BRIDGEVIEW IL - AUGUST 08: Nery Castillo #10 of the Chicago Fire chases down the ball against the New York Red Bulls in an MLS match on August 8 2010 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview Illinois. The Fire and the Red Bulls tied 0-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I was very hesitant to report that Nery Castillo had been loaned out to Aris FC by the Chicago Fire when the news broke yesterday because it seemed like every new day brought a new story about Nery Castillo going to a new Greek team. I think the story of whether or not Brett Favre is retiring has less twists and rebuttals - notice I did use the present term on that one too. Anyway, the loan became more legitimate with every passing minute and I'm not sure why the Chicago Fire waited this long to send out a press release. Even their own press release states:
Transaction: Loaned to Aris F.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2011
My guess is that there was some kind of Major League Soccer internal stuff that had to go on before the team could send something out. MLS really needs to work on this kind of thing in the day of instant news. It looks a little ridiculous sending out a press release more than 24 hours after it's been widely reported around the world. As has been widely reported, this is a five-month loan with the Chicago Fire retaining the option to complete a permanent transfer of Nery Castillo back to Chicago if the team so chooses. The general consensus is that we have seen the last of Nery in Fire red but I'm not so sure.
It's quite possible that Nery never wants to step foot in Chicago again. It is certainly true that many Fire fans would shoot off fireworks if Nery never again landed at O'Hare, Midway or even the proposed third airport in the south suburbs. However, the Fire are still looking awfully thin at the forward position and signing players that are talented enough to get designated player contracts is easier said than done. Nery's 2010 campaign was a failure, no doubt:
Castillo appeared in eight games for the Fire, starting six, tallying 487 minutes after joining the club in mid-July.
No goals, no assists, and a lot of collective headaches but Frank Klopas deserves credit for simply getting the deal done. It was a worthy gamble and sometimes as in Vegas, your dice comes up snake eyes. I hope Nery is able to find his previous greatness in his adulthood home of Greece and the comfortable surroundings revive his career. In fact, I hope he has a blast. Perhaps our paths will cross again, perhaps even on the 4th of July.