Giovani Casillas reflects on first MLS goal
CARSON, Calif. -- The smile on the face of Giovani Casillas said it all.
The 19-year-old midfielder had just broken through for his first MLS goal to seal a 3-1 Chivas USA victory against FC Dallas, and Casillas searched for familiar faces in the crowd at the Home Depot Center.
“I’m hoping there’s more on the way,” Casillas told MLSsoccer.com. “My parents came [from Mexico] to visit and thanks to God I scored a goal. It was for them.”
Despite his inexperience with the more physical style in the U.S., manager José Luis Sánchez Solá had grand expectations for the fresh-faced Casillas -- who joined the Rojiblancos on loan from sister club CD Guadalajara -- heading into the campaign.
But after cracking Sánchez Solá’s starting lineup in the season opener the previous week, Casillas came off the bench in the 64th minute against Dallas. Still, he was able to impress the coach with his composure.
“He came in, played a position that he's not comfortable in, it's not his natural position, but soccer rewards you,” Sánchez Solá told reporters in his postgame press conference. “If you go into a match and you grind and grind and grind for the good of the team, at the end, it rewards you. In a barrel of feces, you're grinding and grinding, you finally poke your head up to get the fresh air. You grind, football rewards you, and those are some of my happiest moments, when my players get rewarded that way.”
Chivas USA scored three times after Casillas took the field.
His goal wrapped up Sánchez Solá’s first victory in the MLS. It came on the counter attack in stoppage time, with Eric Avila and Edgar Mejia providing assists to complete the come-from-behind effort.
“Any player on any team tries to do what’s best for the group, for the coach and the fans,” Casillas said. “I got in briefly but did my best to contribute.
“It was made better because we came out victorious.”