On the fringe of the Mexican national team, Edgar Castillo was presented with a small blessing when Giovani dos Santos went down with injury. Castillo was called in as a last-minute replacement for dos Santos in the week leading up to Mexico's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.
Although he did not play, he was in the mix to travel to Honduras and possibly earn some playing time in San Pedro Sula. But fate had other ideas.
Castillo lost his passport and was unable to leave the country. After disclosing to and receiving pleas from the Mexican Football Federation to find the document, Castillo said he searched high and low but was unable to locate it.
"I joined the team on Tuesday and on Wednesday I told [the federation] that I had misplaced my passport, that I didn't know where it was and they told me to search for it," Castillo explained during a press conference on Tuesday. "I never found it."
Consequently, the federation had no choice but to leave Castillo off the travel roster. The Las Cruces, N.M., native left the national team and returned to Club America. However, it is unclear whether Castillo would have been able to do anything with Club America either as las Águilas played two friendlies on American soil while Castillo was with the Mexican national team.
Instead, Castillo spent the week training with the Mexican national team but did not play a role in Mexico's 2-0 win over Costa Rica. Afterward, he received word that he would not be able to travel to Central America.
"I talked with Sven[-Goran Eriksson], with [the federation] and with America and that was the reason I did not travel," he said. "I had it, they asked for it but I always carry it with me because I don't have any other type of identification."
Castillo said he made a mistake and has nobody to blame but himself.
"I take responsibility for this and I cannot blame anybody for this," he said. "I let a great opportunity go by, a chance to be with the national team, to go to Honduras and even if I were unable to travel I could have been on the bench, but no matter what I would have been there."
Federation officials tried to expedite a new passport for Castillo but because of his dual citizenship, the process would have taken longer than usual, and that opportunity dried up as well.
"I tried to get a new one after speaking with people from America and the federation but it became rather complicated because I lost my American passport as well," Castillo said.
Rumors surfaced recently, however, that Castillo's ongoing legal problems had played a role in his inability to travel. Earlier this year, a car dealership in Torreon sued Castillo over payment for a Hummer that the dealer reportedly claimed Castillo had not paid. In addition, Guadalajara daily Mural reported that Castillo's divorce played a role as well -- Mural claimed Castillo's ex-wife had hid his passport.
"No, nothing like that," Castillo said when asked about the rumors.
Ultimately, though, Castillo's opportunity to represent Mexico may have taken a hit. "I heard [the federation] was upset," Castillo said. "I know it's my responsibility and I apologize to them." --Goal.com