Nashville SC announced the signing of center-back Robert Castellanos on Wednesday. The 22-year-old free agent has played with USL Championship side Rio Grande Valley FC Toros for the last three seasons, making 53 USL appearances since his debut with LA Galaxy II in 2017.
“Robert has the tools to be a contributor at this level and has gained some valuable experiences already at a very early stage of his playing career. He will be able to add to the depth of our back line,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs.
Castellanos made two appearances for the US U-20 side in 2016, as well as playing for Liga MX’s Atlas FC’s youth academy. Castellanos joins a Nashville SC defense with solidified starters in Walker Zimmerman and Dave Romney, as well as veteran Jalil Anibaba and Jack Maher, the second overall pick in the 2020 SuperDraft.
Solid defensively, Castellanos is an impressive player on the ball. A source within the RGVFC organization called him “the most technical player on the roster” in 2019. Although RGVFC struggled last season, Castellanos was a bright spot, scoring twice and completing a solid 82.5% of his passes.
Castellanos joins Dave Romney as the only naturally left-footed center-backs on Nashville’s roster. With Gary Smith’s proclivity for fielding a left-and-right-footed pairing, this could potentially open a door for Castellanos to see the field.
A source from an opposing USL club told Broadway Sports that Castellanos was “the best and most consistent player on the field for a not very good RGVFC team last year. We had to gameplan for him every time we played him.” The source added that while Castellanos didn’t stand out as a USL Best XI talent, he was always a consistently solid player at RGVFC.
Birthdate: May. 11, 1998
Birthplace: Palmdale, California
Hometown: Palmdale, California
Nationality: United States
Last club: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
How Acquired: Signed via free agency