It's finally here! The Houston Dynamo hybrid affiliate RGVFC's 2016 schedule is now out. The road will not by easy as the Toros start out with four road contests before finally hosting LA Galaxy II at home on 4/30, most likely to ensure the new stadium will be ready to go for the home opener. Their first ever match will be visiting Western Conference foe, the Tulsa Roughnecks. Tulsa finished just out of the playoff picture in 2015, and did not defend their home field too well, finishing at 6-6-2 at ONEOK Field, also the home to Los Angeles Dodgers double A affiliate Tulsa Drillers. The Roughnecks top player, Sammy Ochoa, has starred in Liga Mx for Estudiantes Tecos and the MLS's Seattle Sounders and will provide an immediate challenge for the Toros back line. The next four matches for RGV are against MLS 2 sides, Portland Timbers 2, Seattle Sounders 2, Real Salt Lake's Real Monarchs SLC and the home opener against LA Galaxy 2. The first of four matches with in state rival, and fellow USL newcomer, San Antonio will take place at their place on May 7th. I have yet to see a name for this rivalry, but I look forward to someone coming up with a good one, maybe an article for another day?
Some other exciting matchups in 2016 include: the USL's 2nd leading scorer in 2015 Danni König and the OKC Energy visiting the Valley on June 11th, a June 18th visit to the Sacramento to take on Sacramento Republic FC, who led the USL in average attendance in 2015 by a wide margin, the 2015 Western Conference regular season champion, Orange County Blues visit RGV on June 26th, and closing the regular season out at home against San Antonio.
It will be an exciting campaign with a lot of great soccer taking place in Rio Grande Valley. The Toros are still ironing out a roster, which is sure to be free flowing through the season with Dynamo loanees. RGV's first signee Charly Flores and Dynamo loanee Christian Lucatero are both currently in training with the first team, before they break off to RGVFC camp later this spring. Also, the club has yet to announce any preseason friendly matches for the new squad, but I will keep you up to date when they do.