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The Bull And Its Horns: Conference Alignment, A New Coach and Potential Players

Since we last talked, the USL 2016 conference alignment was announced, a USL experienced coach joined RGVFC and the Dynamo selected two players in the MLS Superdraft.

Toros Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera addresses some of the hopefuls at RGVFC's tryouts.
Toros Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera addresses some of the hopefuls at RGVFC's tryouts.
Rio Grande Valley FC's official team Twitter

The Wild Wild West

RGVFC will be playing its debut season in the USL's Western Conference. The USL announced the official conference assignments for the upcoming 2016 season. 2016 is a year in which six new teams join the rapidly expanding league, including the Toros. Now the league will have a 16 team playoff, with 8 clubs from each side making the single elimination tournament.  Of the six newcomers, three clubs will be joining each conference with FC Cincinnati, Orlando City B and Bethlehem Steel FC as members of the Eastern Conference and the Toros, Swope Park Rangers and San Antonio adding to the Western Conference. The reigning regular season champion of the West was Orange County Blues FC, but it was the LA Galaxy's USL side LA Galaxy II who made it to the championship game of the conference's behalf, losing a thrilling 2-1 match against the Rochester Rhinos.

Dellorusso Joins Toros Technical Team

Michael Dellorusso has been hired as an assistant coach on Wilmer Cabrera's inaugural staff at Rio Grande Valley. Dellorusso joins the Toros after serving as the first ever head coach for Arizona United SC, where he finished with a 20-26-7 record, and did not have his contract extended following last season. His lack of overall success with Arizona could possibly be in part due to the fact that he had never held previous head coaching experience, serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Maryland, from 2010-2013. As a player, he led the Terps to 4 straight College Cups, including the 2005 National Championship, also serving as the team's captain. He has MLS playing experience with FC Dallas and USL experience with the Minnesota Thunder and Austin Aztex. It seems to be a good landing spot for Dellorusso, one where he can take a step back from the rigors of being the head coach and help develop players.

Toro Tryouts and Superdraft Selections

The Toros held official tryouts this past weekend to help find talent for their first USL roster. Also filling their roster was their MLS affiliate Houston Dynamo, who selected two players in the MLS SuperDraft, defender Ivan Magalhães, a Brazil native who attended Maryland and midfielder T.J. Casner from Clemson. While both players possess incredible skills, it's highly likely they will make appearances for RGV to develop in their first pro season, whether it's large chunks of time or sporadic visits. The potential combination of Bradley Bourgeois and Ivan on the backline for the Toros would be exciting to see, as well as Casner using his strength to carry the ball forward towards Charly Flores or Christian Lucatero. It will be exciting to see how the roster officially comes into form ahead of the USL season, which begins in March.

Stay Tuned for next week's article, which will cover the 2016 USL Schedule, which is due to be unveiled on January 26th, 12pm CST.