A day after the Rapids announced that defender Diego Calderón will not return to the club in 2014, another player was confirmed as departing on Tuesday afternoon. Colombian midfielder Jaime Castrillón will not be with Colorado next season, Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo confirmed to ColoradoRapids.com.
“We’ve made the decision not to bring [Castrillón] back next year, and we feel it’s in the best interest of both the player and the club,” said Bravo. “Jaime has spent two years here, and this past year he had to deal with a big injury. By the time that he came back midway through the year, several young players had stepped up in his position. That’s one of the major things that determined our decision, the fact that those young players emerged.”
Castrillón joined the Rapids prior to the 2012 season as one of the first signings after Oscar Pareja became the club’s Head Coach, and the midfielder brought a wealth of experience from the Colombian first division and with the country’s national team. He was a mainstay in the Colorado starting lineup in his first season, playing 30 games (29 starts) and scoring eight goals, which won the team’s Golden Boot honor, and added four assists.
An offseason knee surgery limited Castrillón’s impact in 2013, and the midfielder returned midseason to play a role for the team. He made a total of 11 appearances in his second season in MLS (two starts), scoring one goal, coming in the deciding Rocky Mountain Cup match against Real Salt Lake.
“Jaime wants to play first team football, and so he’s going to look for those opportunities,” Bravo added. “We want to thank him for what he gave to the Rapids, as our leading scorer in 2012, and a hardworking, strong player and presence this past season. We’ll all remember that it was his goal at home against RSL that essentially brought the Rocky Mountain Cup back to Colorado.”
A box-to-box midfielder, Castrillón’s opportunities were limited following his return from injury, due to the emergence of players like MLS AT&T Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers, and Nathan Sturgis, as well as competition from Nick LaBrocca, Martín Rivero, and others. The Colombian had received his U.S. residency status, therefore his departure does not open additional international slots.