The Houston Dynamo signed Academy product Juan Castilla to a Homegrown Player contract that is effective January 1, 2021, the club announced today.
At 15 years old, Castilla is the youngest Homegrown Player signing in club history and the 13th Dynamo Academy alumnus to sign a professional contract with the Club. The midfielder joined the Dynamo Academy in 2016 as an 11-year-old to compete at the Under-12 level.
"This is a special day for our entire club to announce the addition of Juan Castilla as our youngest-ever Homegrown signing. Juan has worked his way up through our Academy to earn this opportunity, and his quality as a player along with his strong mentality and willingness to learn exemplify what we look for in all of our young players,” said Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. "I'd also like to acknowledge the leadership of our Academy Director Paul Holocher and the hard work and commitment from our Academy staff to help Juan get to this point, understanding that this is the next step in the development process."
Castilla was one of four Academy players called up by head coach Tab Ramos to join the Dynamo for preseason trips to Tucson, Ariz. and the Rio Grande Valley prior to the 2020 season. The midfielder saw competitive action during both trips, as he entered for the final period of a scrimmage between the Dynamo and RGV FC and came on as a second-half substitute in Arizona during a closed-door scrimmage against Real Salt Lake.
“Juan is an outstanding young midfielder with an excellent combination of technical quality, composure and game insight,” said Dynamo Academy Director Paul Holocher. “When a player from the Academy becomes a professional it is always exciting, but in this case it is extra special as Juan started with the Academy from a young age and he has Houston in his heart. It is going to be exciting to see him continue to develop and grow as a young professional.”
The 15-year-old was a key member of the Dynamo Academy U-17 squad that qualified for the Generation adidas Cup Final earlier this year at Houston Sports Park. It was the first time that the Dynamo Academy U-17s qualified for the final round of the annual tournament.
Castilla will officially join the Dynamo First Team as a Homegrown Player on January 1, 2021, but will train with the First Team while continuing to compete with the Dynamo Academy for the remainder of the year.
TRANSACTION: The Houston Dynamo sign midfielder Juan Castilla to a Homegrown Player contract on Monday, June 15, 2020.
JUAN CASTILLA PROFILE
Full name: Juan Andres Castillo Lozano
Weight: 130 lbs
Date of Birth: July 27, 2004
Birthplace: Cali, Colombia
Hometown: Houston, Texas
FIFA Nationality: United States / Colombia
Last Club: Dynamo Academy U-17
How Acquired: Signed to a Homegrown Player Contract on Monday, June 15, 2020.