The Chicago Fire are seemingly taking a “sure, what the heck” approach to USYNT prospects and open tryouts. Less than two weeks after welcoming Joshua Gatt into preseason training camp as a trialist, the Men In Red are having a gander at another young American whose career has stalled.
NBC Sports Chicago’s Dan Santaromita reported earlier today that Omar Castro has joined the team as a trialist at preseason training camp in Florida.
Castro most recently suited up for Eintracht Braunschweig, currently sitting in the middle of the table in the German second division. While at Braunschweig, a youth coach referred to the then-teenage holding midfielder as “one of the best players in North America in his position.” Castro also had previous (and unsuccessful) tryouts with Barcelona and Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem (now primarily a feeder club for Chelsea).
Castro, who will turn 22 next week, also has caps for several US youth national squads, primarily the U17s. He has not yet earned a look from the senior national team. Breaking into a competitive MLS squad could potentially change that.
While perhaps not the most exciting roster news, there’s very little downside for either party here. The Fire get a commitment-free look at a young player who’s eager to impress, and if they like what they see they could pick up some midfield depth for not a lot of money. Meanwhile, Castro has the opportunity to breathe new life into a career that ground to a halt in Germany. Even if he doesn’t get break into the Fire’s roster, putting on an impressive performance could serve as a launchpad to signing with a USL team. Who knows— the Fire could sign him and then immediately send him to Tulsa.
The Fire’s next preseason scrimmage is Wednesday evening against the Montreal Impact in Bradenton. Don’t be surprised if young Mr. Castro makes a cameo appearance.