de los Cobos is confident that his countryman can return to the mercurial form

CDLC: Nery Will Shine In 2011

There’s no doubt Chicago Fire Designated Player Nery Castillo will want to put his first half-season in MLS way back in the rearview mirror.

Limited by injuries and hindered by continued poor form, the Mexican attacker played in just eight games (six starts) for a total of 487 minutes and no goals scored since his debut on Aug. 8.

Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos, however, is confident that his countryman can return to the mercurial form that saw him net a memorable goal against Brazil in the 2007 Copa América and earn a blockbuster move from Greek club Olympiakos to Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Nery is a kid with a lot of talent,” de los Cobos said on Thursday’s edition of Tiro Libre,’s Spanish-language podcast. “He didn’t arrive in good form, but he's conscious that the upcoming season will have to be different knowing that we’ll have a preseason and he’ll be able to reach an adequate and ideal physical and technical level. I trust that he’ll be able to produce much more for the team.”

According to the coach, Castillo’s personal issues – especially the loss of both of his parents in 2009 to cancer – severely affected his performance on the pitch.


“The most recent part of his career hasn’t been the best because he’s had problems in his personal life,” said de los Cobos. “Regrettably, he lost both of his parents in the same year. Those are situations and factors that affect people.”

On top of that, de los Cobos said Castillo was surprised by how competitive and physical MLS is, and has realized that to be successful in the league he’ll have to work hard and improve on various fronts.

“It’s normal that if you’re not … at an adequate fitness level, it’s difficult that you’ll be able to apply and develop all your talents,” the Fire coach said. “I’m confident that Nery can [get in form] for the next season. He’s a kid that I’m sure if he works hard, will really be successful in this league.”

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