Last November, academy standout and Atlanta United 2 regular Alessandro Castro announced his intent to pursue his dream of playing overseas. His intent was to go on trial with a European club and hopefully sign his second professional contract at 19 years old. Instead, it seems that he has found a home in Honduras.
In February, Gustavo Rodríguez of the Honduran publication Diez reported that Castro will be joining the Honduran second division side Juticalpa FC. His new team hopes he can be a valuable piece of their midfield as they seek to return to the ten-team Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Honduras.
Alessandro Castro, un muchacho de 19 años y que se suponía era una de las jóvenes promesas de Honduras fichó por el Juticalpa FC de la Segunda División. Perteneció desde 2016 al Atlanta United de la MLS. pic.twitter.com/beTzOstl9u— Gustavo Rodríguez (@GustavoRocaGOL) February 3, 2020
Ale Castro has been with Atlanta United since the 2016-2017 academy season, starting for the U-15/16 team where he started 29 of his 31 appearances, bagging 4 goals along the way. He was also a part of the U-17 national championship side in 2017. After impressing his coaching staff and Academy Director Tony Annan, Ale advanced an age group in his next season to play for the U-18/19s and eventually became a frequent role player for the inaugural Atlanta United 2 midfield in 2018. On 5 July 201 8, Ale Castro signed his first professional contract to become a full-time member of Atlanta United 2, just a couple of months after his debut against Louisville City FC in May. He joined Jackson Conway as only the second academy player to get a professional contract with the USL side and only the eighth academy player to sign professionally with an Atlanta United team.
While he was impressing at the academy and professional level, he was making himself a rising star for his family’s home country, Honduras. Despite living his entire life in Georgia, Castro accepted his youth national team call-up alongside fellow teammate Alexander Bahr to represent the Honduran U-17 boys’ national team at the U-17 World Cup in India. They were in a tough group with Japan and France expected to finish ahead of them, but with a start and a 2nd half substitution in two of the matches, Castro helped his team advance to the Round of 16 where he had to sit on and watch from the sideline as Brazil won a hard-fought 3-0 decision.
Following the 2019 USL season with contract options coming up, Ale Castro decided to take his chances over seas. He and the club decided to not renew his contract for the 2020 season and in November it was reported that he was on trial with Bavarian 2.Bundesliga side SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Though this trial was likely good experience for the youngster, he did not receive a professional contract with the German side.
Best of luck to Ale Castro. Hopefully, we can welcome him home to Atlanta in a future CONCACAF Champions League fixture.