FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Sandwiched somewhat quietly between Sunday’s acquisition of Jermaine Jones and Tuesday’s introductory press conference was another significant bit of news out of New England Revolution camp: the signing of young Dutch striker Geoffrey Castillion.
While Jones has understandably grabbed the headlines, Castillion’s impending arrival could prove similarly influential as the Revs search for an attacking spark through the season’s stretch run.
The 23-year-old product of the famed Ajax youth system was in town last weekend to sign his contract and take in New England’s victory over Chivas USA, and the Revs are hoping it won’t be long before he has the opportunity to link up with his new teammates.
“We were able to meet with him and spend some time with him,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We flew him over here last week and were able to really sit down and kind of talk about the team and talk about where he would fit in. We’re excited about his arrival.”
Castillion’s 6-foot-3 frame is perfectly suited for a target role, but Heaps said the former Dutch youth international is versatile enough to play on the wing, as well. While he never fully broke into the Ajax first team, Castillion did gain valuable experience while on loan with a number of Eredivisie clubs.
“He’s a player we’ve scouted pretty heavily,” said Heaps. “He’s a good, strong presence and he can play any of the three forward roles. We’re excited about his tactical awareness, as well. He’s a strong player with good speed, but also understands what we want to do tactically.”
Castillion’s arrival in Foxborough is pending receipt of his P1 Visa, a process with an unpredictable timetable. Heaps hoped to know more later in the week, but admitted that the Revs are “kind of at the mercy of the system.”
When Castillion does arrive, he’ll join a stable of forwards which also includes newcomers Andre Akpan and Tony Taylor, both acquired within the past three weeks. In addition to the group of attackers already embedded in New England’s system, that trio offers three distinct sets of skills.
“That’s what’s unique about our forward system; we don’t have a cookie cutter player that kind of does this and that’s what we do,” Heaps said. “I think each player adds a different look and that’s important for us.”