RICHMOND, Va. – The World Cup fever for most fans might be over following the United States Women's National Team's loss in the World Cup Final on July 17th, but fans of Virginia Commonwealth University should keep a keen eye on the FIFA Under-20 Men's World Cup that is scheduled to begin this Friday.
VCU sophomore midfielder Jose Carlos Castillo (Guatemala City, Guatemala) will represent his home country of Guatemala at the World Cup, which is taking place in Columbia.
Guatemala earned a World Cup bid with a 2-1 victory over the United States on April 6 (click on video to the right to view highlight). Castillo provided the assist on the game-winning goal which secured the first-ever World Cup appearance for the National Football Federation of Guatemala at any level.
Castillo, who collected 11 starts for the Rams in 2010, is one of only six college-based players to compete in this year's World Cup. Castillo is the only American based college student-athlete, as the other five all compete for colleges in the Korea Republic.
"We are all really excited for Jose," said VCU head coach Dave Giffard. "It's always an honor to represent your country and this experience will be something I am sure he will remember for the rest of his life. We are all pulling for him here at VCU and are looking forward to being able to watch him play."
Guatemala will compete in Group D with Croatia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Guatemala will take on Nigeria on Sunday, July 31st at 3:45 p.m. The team's match against Saudi Arabia is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3rd at 5:45 p.m. Guatemala will close out group play against Croatia on Saturday, August 6th at 8:45 p.m. All matches are available on ESPN3.com
The tournament concludes with the World Cup Final, scheduled for August 20th.