The Colombian Football Federation has named its squad for January's 2015 edition of the South American Youth Football Championship (aka, Campeanato Sudamericano Sub-20) - and it does not include Santiago Castano.
This is sad news for the New York Red Bulls' young goalkeeper.
Castano, you may recall, turned down a US U-20 call-up to answer Colombia's call in December. He was taking a calculated risk. The 19-year-old RBNY academy graduate has virtually grown up in the US youth national team programs. This year, he won repeated call-ups to Tab Ramos's U-20 side, and his most recent was for the squad's last big competitive trip (to Honduras) before the head coach sat down to really figure out who he was going to bring with him to Jamaica for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Castano was not a certainty to make Ramos's final cut, but he was certainly in the running. And then he "spurned" that last call-up and grabbed a chance to play for Colombia, the country of his parents' birth.
It was a surprise: one imagines the Colombian squad already had some 'keepers in it. An eleventh-hour call to a player who had never previously been part of the set-up is the sort of thing that can upset players. And it was an honor: Colombia's U-20 team is the defending CONMEBOL champion, heading to Uruguay to try to repeat as South America's top side at that level. For Castano to be considered - and being called into the last training camp of the pre-tournament preparations implies he was being considered - was certainly flattering.
Perhaps Castano knew he wasn't going to Uruguay before he entered the training camp. Maybe he knew he wasn't going to get Ramos's call to go to Jamaica. We may never know.
What we do know is that a young RBNY prospect looked to have a shot at playing international soccer this month in a major tournament - and now that shot is gone.
Better luck next time, Santiago. Here's hoping your teammates do you proud in Uruguay, and you get a shot at the U-20 World Cup, or the Pan American Games, or the 2016 Olympics - all tournaments for which CONMEBOL's representatives will be decided by the Campeanato Sudamericano Sub-20.