The Fire officially introduced Nery Castillo today and unveiled the new #10 jersey that Castillo will wear. Castillo will presumably play in his preferred withdrawn forward role behind either Brian McBride or Collins John. Both players should benefit greatly from playing with an individual that can create opportunities for himself as well as teammates. While Castillo is not a protypical "10" player as defined in the mythical soccer 101 handbook he should provide something that the Fire has been sorely lacking throughout the first part of the season, a truly creative attacker who can also finish.
Patrick Nyarko has been able to create opportunities with his speed but his finishing ability has been lacking. Marco Pappa has been able to create opportunites to generate "goal of the week" type scores for himself but he hasn't shown that he can create chances consistently for teammates.
If Castillo's mindset is as positive as advertised, his acquisition could be a huge coup for the Fire. Of course his recent history suggests that he is somewhat of a risk given that his playing time and production have fallen greatly since the 2007 Gold Cup performance that earned him the chance at European football stardom.
Castillo is a risk but definitely one worth taking, particularly if Frank Klopas can add a second designated player to fill the attacking central midfield role. Justin Mapp's roster spot is vacant and Carlos De Los Cobos has insinuated that the team already has someone in mind to fill the slot although he would not elaborate on who the player might be.
Seattle's signing of a third designated player (Uruguayan midfielder Alvaro Fernandez) means that Seattle will pay the $250,000.00 fee that will be divided among the remaining MLS teams without three designated players. New York's impending acquisition of Rafael Marquez will add another $17,800.00 (approximate) in allocation money for each team not dipping into the multiple DP pool. This means that the Fire suddenly has another $34,500.00 in allocation dollars that can be used to massage the salary cap.
Castillo's press conference is up at the Chicago-Fire.com.