Valentin Castellanos has taken an unusual route in his playing career, but the road is paved with rewards for the youngster.
The 20-year-old NYCFC attacker received a call-up to Argentina's U-23 squad for two friendlies against Mexico next month, and that selection has helped validate the decisions he's made in his career.
"Personally, I am very happy with this start with the national team, so it is very nice for me," Castellanos told Futbol MLS's Ariel Judas on Friday. "I always dreamed of wearing the Argentina shirt, as a kid, and it is when the club is in the playoffs and we are having a good time with New York City FC."
The Mendoza, Argentina native has not played in his native country at the pro level, instead kicking off his first-team career in Chile at Universidad de Chile and then heading to Uruguay to play at Torque. From the latter club, owned by the same City Football Group as NYCFC, he joined the MLS outfit during the 2018 season and the Cityzens picked up his loan option in the offseason.
This year, following an acclimation period Castellanos has truly taken off, notching 11 goals and five assists in 29 league matches to date, and at times carrying the side when other attackers have been out of the lineup.
The success this year demonstrates that making the move to MLS was the right move for Castellanos.
"I knew it was the right decision to come to MLS. Everyone sees this league. It is growing much more. As I always say: Here players not only come to retire, but there are young players, with much potential in almost all the teams. I take it as something very positive. I never gave up; I knew that at some point [the Argentine national team] were going to be watching the league. There are many people who already see it. I'm having a good time and now I'm enjoying it."
And Castellanos' coach Dome Torrent, one of his biggest backers, is pleased the budding star is getting more recognition.
"I'm happy for Taty, because I think he deserves to play with his team," he said. "In the last six months he played at an outstanding level for us. He is a warrior. I knew he was close to being able to play with the national team. It's good news."
Altre notizie - Top Stories
- 02:30 Ronny Deila: "Cody Mizell the right guy for us"
- 01:30 Cody Mizell: "Thanks to New York City FC for believing in me"
- 00:30 NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "Sands has a bright future"
- 23:30 NYCFC, David Lee: "Sands has become an integral part of our team"
- 22:53 New York City FC signs goalkeeper Cody Mizell
- 22:45 NYCFC, Sands: "This is a time of celebration"
- 22:43 New York City FC, James Sands Signs Contract Extension
- 00:06 NYCFC, James Sands' thoughts on the new 'Bronx Blue' jersey
- 00:04 New York City FC has revealed the 2021 'Bronx Blue' primary kit
- 22:55 New York City FC: Announce Preseason Schedule
- 17:00 NYCFC, in a week the pre-season begins with the team under construction
- 16:02 NEW POLL - In which roles does New York City FC need reinforcements the most?
- 15:00 Former NYCFC Patrick Vieira may return to MLS
- 14:00 New York City FC: At least two other strikers are needed
- 23:28 New York City FC, now even the playoffs would be at risk
- 23:10 Orlando City, player suspended on sexual assault charges
- 22:53 New York City FC: Who will be the next captain?
- 22:38 NYCFC Rumors: close the signing of Joao Rojas from CS Emelec
- 18:44 David Beckham calls Messi and Ronaldo in MLS
- 23:27 OFFICIAL - Philadelphia Union, Stuart Findlay acquired
- 23:26 OFFICIAL - Thierry Henry leaves Montreal Impact
- 15:00 New York City FC: The reasons why Juan Mata could be useful to the Blues
- 14:00 The brother of an Orlando City player was arrested
- 22:35 NYCFC, the Romanian Alex Matan in the sights of New York
- 22:16 Manchester City offers 2 years of contract to Messi in the Premier League and 2 years with NYCFC
- 15:16 Malte Amundsen: "I'm very happy to sign with NYCFC"
- 15:09 New York City FC Acquires Defender Malte Amundsen From Danish Club Vejle BK
- 22:48 NYCFC, Taty Castellanos linked to Palmeiras
- 22:28 Rumors: Pato can play in the MLS, NYCFC is among the interested teams
- 16:00 FC Dallas, Bryan Reynolds sold to AS Roma
- 14:53 New York City FC, Dzeko will not arrive in New York
- 21:40 New York City FC, Taty Castellnos linekd to Palmeiras
- 21:25 RUMORS: Edin Dzeko will not leave AS Roma
- 19:54 New York City FC, Dzeko linked to Blues: here the truth
- 23:33 New York City FC selected Di Rosa and Latinovich
- 16:00 Former NYCFC Mix Diskerud joins the Denizlispor
- 15:00 New York City FC, Franco Cervi refuses transfer to the Blues
- 14:18 Injury to Sean Johnson forced to leave the USMNT training camp
- 23:14 New York City FC dismantled: it will be a tough season
- 22:57 City Football Group adds Bolivia's Club Bolivar as partner club
- 21:54 After Gomez even Ribery has been linked to NYCFC
- 16:31 NYCFC's Joe Scally makes move to Borussia Monchengladbach
- 22:02 Messi to MLS: bought a family apartment in Miami
- 20:00 Almeyda: "MLS wolud be the right league for Messi"
- 19:00 Papu Gomez linked to New York City FC
- 18:25 NYCFC, 2020 is a year of bitterness for fans