San Antonio FC Signs Rafael Castillo, Matt Cardone, Victor Araujo and Max Gunderson
SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio FC has signed former Scorpions midfielder Rafael Castillo and goalkeeper Matt Cardone, along with Trinity University midfielder Victor Araujo, and former University of the Incarnate Word defender Max Gunderson for the 2016 USL season, the club announced at the AT&T Center this evening. Both Castillo and Araujo's signings are pending visas. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Castillo joins the club after an impressive two seasons with the Scorpions. After a long and illustrious career in his native Colombia where he won the 2009 Primera A Clausura Championship, Castillo moved to San Antonio in 2014, leading the Scorpions to the 2014 NASL Championship. Castillo was named the MVP of the championship match after scoring a memorable bicycle kick goal to give the Scorpions the lead in the second half.
"Rafa is a fantastic and exciting player," said Powell. "We are very honored to have him in San Antonio and I'm looking forward to working with him. He's very passionate about the game and he loves this city, so he's ready to be a leader and use his experience to help all players on this team."
Castillo was named to the 2014 NASL Best XI and scored 17 goals from midfield in 46 total appearances from 2014 to 2015. Castillo has also made nine appearances for the Colombian national team from 2001-03, scoring three goals.
Graduates of Trinity University in San Antonio, Cardone and Araujo bring depth to the goalkeeping and midfield ranks for SAFC in 2016. A native of San Antonio and a MacArthur High School graduate, Cardone joins SAFC after spending the 2015 season with the San Antonio Scorpions. The 22-year-old made three starts and one substitute appearance between the sticks last season.
"Matt is a local boy who's grown up here," said Powell. "He is very honest and works very hard. I saw him in preseason with Orlando City last year and he is a very talented young goalkeeper. We expect big things out of Matt for the next couple of years."
Araujo is a Division III All-American who scored 20 goals and recorded 18 assists in 43 total games with Trinity from 2013-15. Originally from Brazil, the 24-year-old has spent time playing professionally in the second division of Belgium prior to attending Trinity.
"Victor is a very exciting young prospect with some very good attacking tendencies," said Powell. "He can deliver good passes and unlock defenses from midfield."
Gunderson, who attended UIW in San Antonio, spent the 2015 season playing with the Austin Aztex (USL). In 27 appearances, Gunderson played in 2,188 minutes, tallying two assists from defense. The 26-year-old right back has also spent time with OKC Energy (USL) and the Laredo Heat of the PDL.
"Max is a player who has experience in the USL and has done well in the league for multiple clubs," Powell said. "He will bring us good defensive depth as we build our roster for the upcoming season."
San Antonio FC will make its debut in front of home supporters at Toyota Field on Saturday, April 9 against Swope Park Rangers, the USL affiliate of Sporting Kansas City.
Fans interested in being a part of the inaugural season can place their $50 deposit for 2016 season tickets online at USLSanAntonio.com or by calling 210-444-5MLS. Individual tickets will go on sale Wednesday, March 9.
Supporters can follow the club by liking San Antonio FC on Facebook, as well as following the team on Twitter (@SAFCUSL), Instagram (@sanantoniofootballclub) and Snapchat (@SanAntonioFC).
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