PLAYER OF THE WEEK | San Antonio Midfielder Rafael Castillo

Colombian veteran finds the net three times in Week 11 action
NASL Staff | Sep 14, 2015

A key figure in the San Antonio Scorpions’ championship run a year ago, midfielder Rafael Castillo came up big for his team once again last week.The Colombian midfielder has been named NASL Player of the Week after scoring three goals in two Week 11 matches.

With his team down two goals (and a man) on Wednesday night, Castillo found the net to help the Scorpions claw back to earn a 3-3 draw against the visiting Carolina RailHawks. A few days later, he struck twice – once in each half – to give San Antonio a 2-0 victory over Indy Eleven at Toyota Field.

“I’m very happy to be honored as the Player of the Week,” Castillo said. “I didn’t expect it, but I want to thank the team and God because without them this wouldn’t be possible. I’m glad that I was able to help the team earn a few good results because that is what is most important.”

Castillo’s three-goal week now brings his 2015 total to seven, which is good for a tie for fifth in the NASL Golden Boot race. The former Colombian international’s first two goals this week came via the penalty spot, while the last finish came directly from a pinpoint cross from teammate Billy Forbes.

“Rafa¹s importance to the team and his role within the squad are invaluable,” Scorpions head coach Alen Marcina said. “Throughout the course of the season, when moments have come up that demand big performances, he has always stepped up and delivered. For these reasons and many others, Rafa is incredibly deserving of this award. He put on a dominating display last week and I am happy for him.”

The 35-year-old midfielder, who scored a stunning bicycle kick in The Championship Final in 2014, signed with the Scorpions midway through last season from Colombian side Llaneros. The Pereira, Colombia, native spent nearly his entire career in the professional ranks of his home country prior to making the jump to the U.S. in 2014.

Thanks to the efforts of Castillo and his teammates last week, the Scorpions are now out of the cellar in both the Fall Season and Combined Standings. In fact, despite San Antonio’s struggles this year, the club sits just five points behind the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Combined Standings. The Rowdies hold the fourth and final postseason spot with eight games left in the Fall Season.

With their three-game homestand now in the rearview mirror, the Scorpions will look to continue their ascent up the standings when they face the Rowdies this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium. The key late-season tilt can be seen live in the U.S. on ESPN3 and in Canada via 

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