RICHMOND, Va. – While most members of the VCU student body will be starting their summer, rising senior Dennis Castillo of the men's soccer team will be just starting a prestigious journey in his home country of Costa Rica.
Castillo, an All-American defender for the Rams, received word this afternoon that he was called up to the Costa Rican U-23 Men's National Team, the squad that represents the country at the Olympics every four years.
"We are very excited for Dennis and for this opportunity to be invited into camp with the Costa Rican Olympic team," VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard said. "It's rare for college players to have the opportunity to compete at this level. We wish him all the best and hope that he will have a great camp and will be selected to go to Toulon, one of the best age group tournaments in the world."
The U-23 squad is the only squad below the Costa Rican Men's Senior National Team, the same squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup.
Castillo has been a stalwart on VCU's backline since his arrival in 2012. This past fall, he earned All-Conference accolades after anchoring a defense that allowed the fewest goals in the program's 37-year history and the 11th fewest in the country.
In addition to his defensive prowess, Castillo has piled up 14 goals and two assists during his career, a career in which has seen him start 59 games in just three years and two NCAA Tournament appearances for the Black & Gold.
Castillo and the team will begin training sessions on Monday, May 11 and run through Saturday, May 23rd. His call-up could allow him a spot on the team's trip to the upcoming Toulon Tournament (May 24-June 8) in Toulon, France, one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world.