Supplemental picks take unusual routes

Dynamo assistant coaches Hanley, Ralston unearthed Newton, Castillo

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Photo Credit: 
Creighton University

The Houston Dynamo’s main need going into Tuesday’s MLS
Supplemental Draft was a third goalkeeper to join Tally Hall and Tyler Deric as
club backstops. The Dynamo wound up getting more than they bargained for.

Houston
selected Old Dominion goalkeeper Evan Newton with the No. 7 pick of the first
round on Tuesday, then added some potential midfield depth as well by taking
Creighton’s Sergio Castillo in the second round. Both players will come into
preseason training without contracts and will try to earn a roster spot. With the
club’s off-budget roster almost settled, the Dynamo passed in the draft’s third
round.

*Goalkeeper Newton happy to get his chance*

Newton
was one of seven goalkeepers selected on Tuesday as several teams also added
competition to the goalkeeping spot. Houston
goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley,
however, said he thinks Newton
flew under the radar.

“I wasn’t happy with any of the guys I had seen previously
or in the combine,” Hanley said. “I talked to current and former goalie coaches
and teams he had trained with to help piece together the puzzle.”

Without as much first-hand knowledge as he had on some other players, Hanley relied on
reputable sources to find out about Newton,
both on and off the field. What he found out about character turned out to be a
key.

“Other coaches said he was a hard worker and had a good
upside,” Hanley said. “That’s something we like to hear. That’s a Dynamo thing.
We always want guys we know are going to fight for each other, and that’s
really important to have.”

Important as the off-field characteristics were, Newton’s on-field ability
and experience throughout different levels of youth soccer should serve him
well. Hanley credited the 6-foot-2 Newton's size and ability to play simply, which Newton echoed in
describing his own game.

“I’m a very smart player, and I know the game really well,” Newton said. “I feel like
I’m pretty sound all-around, and I’m good with the ball at my feet. That’s a
trait that is becoming more and more important as a goalkeeper these days.”

The Dynamo also took a slightly unusual path to their second
selection, Castillo. He has been a key to the Creighton defense over the last
four years, at first on the back line and then at defensive midfield over the
last two years. He caught the eye of Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston
during an NCAA tournament game against SMU.

“I saw him play against SMU in the tournament, and he really
impressed me,” Ralston said. “He won a ton of balls in the midfield, played
simple, and was really fit and worked very hard, so I was really impressed.”

Castillo put Creighton ahead 2-1 in that game, playing
against Dynamo Academy midfielder Josue Soto, but SMU
tied the game with 15 seconds remaining. In the shootout, both Castillo and
Soto converted as their teams’ first shooter. Ralston said he was more
impressed by the two-way ability of the 5-foot-8 Castillo.

“He was all over the place breaking up everything, and he
was a guy I wanted to see more of,” Ralston said. “So we thought we’d bring him
in and see what he’s all about.”

The Dynamo will find out a lot more about Newton and Castillo in preseason training, as
both players try to earn a roster spot despite being overlooked by mainstream
scouting.