MATEO FLORES, GUATEMALA – While most college students are preparing for the final exams of the 2011-12 school year, rising junior Jose Carlos Castillo of the VCU men's soccer is preparing for a different type of test.
Castillo received the honor of being called up to play for the Guatemalan National Team in tonight's international friendly against Paraguay in his native country. It appears that the Ram will be inserted into the starting lineup for his homeland for the 10 p.m. contest.
"Having an opportunity to represent your country is not only an honor, but it's also a very good experience to play at such a high level against quality players in atmospheres that not everyone gets to play in," Head Coach Dave Giffard said. "Those are experiences that not many student athletes get to have, and for the ones that do, I think it helps prepare them, mature them and make them a little more ready for the college atmosphere and top college games."
Castillo has been a part of the Guatemalan National pool since his youth days when he played for the U-17, U-20 and U-21 teams for a total of 45 caps in youth national competition.
For the Rams, he has played in 28 games over the past two seasons, scoring one goal and dishing out seven assists from his midfield spot.
Guatemala will also be battling for a World Cup spot in the CONCACAF qualifying which will begin in June. Castillo is expected to be a part of that as well.
Tonight's friendly against Paraguay is set to begin at 10 p.m. EST and can be viewed online here.