As far as the first two building blocks on a brand new USL club, you could do a lot worse than Christian Lucatero and Juan Flores. Officially announced by the Houston Dynamo today, Lucatero and Flores became the first official members of the RGVFC Toros, following the hiring of Wilmer Cabrera as the club's manager. Both players have previously trained with the first team, and will do so again in the preseason before the beginning of the official USL side starting camp.
Christian Lucatero has been regarded as a crown jewel of the Dynamo Academy for years now, before signing with the first team this past summer. He has taken his future star reputation to another level by participating in U-18 camps for both the United States and Mexican national teams. In his first 2 seasons with the Dynamo's U-18 club, he netted 41 goals in 54 matches. He was the Dynamo Academy Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014.
Juan Flores was the 2015 Dynamo Academy Player of the Year, following a season where he scored 25 goals in just 31 matches. Juan, more commonly referred to as Charly, netted the winning goal in the Academy Alumni match this past week in a penalty shootout.
The Dynamo technical and developmental staffs did a great job adding these two to RGVFC. Not only have they both dominated the competition for the Academy these past few years, they've done it together. They have been teammates for multiple years now and have a great connection on the pitch. Flores was very excited as I asked him how it felt to officially be a member of the Toros, saying "It's very exciting. I think it's the best for me to get some playing time to develop in the way I have to, to be in order to move up to the MLS and score goals for the Houston Dynamo. Honestly, a dream come true." He also is excited to be coached by Wilmer Cabrera, who he says he has heard great things about from Erick "Cubo" Torres, whom he has a great relationship with. A difficult part of coaching a USL club is balancing player development with competing in the tables, a fact Cabrera acknowledged in his introductory phone conference. These two young players help that balance, they are young and will need playing time to develop and hone their skills, but they are also proven talents, who by simply playing their game, increase a club's chances of winning.
The club's goalkeeper may be decided upon soon, as the Dynamo inked Pittsburgh Riverhounds GK Calle Brown to a contract this week. He had a strong first professional season in the Steel City, posting 5 shutouts and averaging just over a goal a match against him. While the club hasn't specifically stated he will be in RGV, it would make a lot of sense to get the young keeper game action with the Toros, as Houston already possesses Save of the Week star Tyler Deric, and the more than capable veteran, Joe Willis backing him up.