Midfielder Rod Castro looked at the Baltimore Blast roster yesterday after signing with the team and said, "I'm going to be one of the seasoned veterans on this club."
Castro, 26, agreed to a one-year contract. He comes to Baltimore after playing two years for the San Diego Sockers.
"This will be a new beginning for me and most of the guys on the team," said Castro, who scored 24 goals and had 15 assists last season. "I was a little surprised when I heard about the players that weren't coming back to Baltimore. But any time a team is as unsuccessful as Baltimore was, you kind of expect changes. You need to bring in new blood."
Castro, who had four game-winning goals last season and accumulated six goals and three assists in the playoffs, said he decided to seek a new team because San Diego was "uncooperative and cold and cool to my playing with them. When it came down to negotiating a contract, they had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. I thought they would try hard to sign me since I was a free agent."
Castro said that before signing with Baltimore he had thought there was a possibility he would be traded to the Blast for forward Paul Wright, whom Baltimore claimed from the Sockers on waivers in July.
Wright said Monday that he has told Blast coach Kenny Cooper he doesn't want to play in Baltimore.
Castro, who was born in Santiago, Chile, began playing soccer at age 6 in England and became a U.S. citizen in 1987.