Hugo Sanchez did it. He made so much noise about foreign-born players when Zinha and Guille Franco were brought in during the old regime but now he's gone ahead and called up a foreigner.
And an American to boot.
Lost in the shuffle over the Mexican league's Apertura 2007 season was the young squad Sanchez called in to represent El Tricolor in Denver on Wednesday against Colombia. Among the relatively inexperienced side as Edgar Castillo who plays with Santos. The 20-year-old was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, well north of the Rio Grande.
Castillo has done well with Santos Laguna as he appeared in 18 total games between league and playoffs. He started 12 games and appeared in 1,163 minutes. This season, he's gone the distance in Santos' three games - all wins.
Now, I don't know a lot about Castillo's background or where he got his start in soccer. He did come up through Santos' youth system but before that I'm not sure. But Castillo could be a trailblazer. After all, the Mexican population in the United States took off in the 80s and children born during that span are getting to their late teens/early 20s. Santos in fact poached another young American, Sonny Guadarrama, a 19-year-old who has played briefly for Santos the last two seasons.
Both Castillo and Guadarrama have Mexican passports so they don't technically count as foreigners. But Castillo and Guadarrama were both born in the United States and somehow found their way to Mexico to, in Castillo's case, represent his parents' birthplace.