After being loaned as a rookie last year to the Charleston Battery, where he was scarcely used, Jose “Memo” Rodriguez had a breakout season for the Toros in 2016. The former Houston Dynamo Homegrown product finished the regular season with 6 goals and 7 assists, and added another dime in the playoffs. I was able to chat with Memo following the season about his progress, and what may be next.
Dynamo Theory: Obviously, the season didn’t end how anyone in the organization wanted it. But looking back, how pleased are you with the team’s debut regular season performance?
Memo Rodriguez: I think the team surprised everyone in the league. I'm very pleased with how we performed all season. It was great to see the team to come together.
DT: After not playing much your rookie season on loan to Charleston, how important was it for you to get such consistent time with the Toros?
Memo: It was a big Impact on my development. I believe I got better as the season went on, and I was very happy to be a key piece to the team.
DT: Christian Lucatero and Charly Flores were in similar roles to your season with Charleston. How did you see them handle the situation and grow in their rookie years?
Memo: They learned as the season went on, and they grew and gained more knowledge that will prepare them for the future.
DT: Wilmer Cabrera is one of the most qualified, talented coaches in the USL. What advice did you take away from him?
Memo: He motivated me to go every day in practice and in games. He just said have fun and play how you know how to play.
DT: What does Memo Rodriguez bring to the Houston Dynamo, or another MLS club?
Memo: I bring my work ethic to every practice, and every game. I try to do my best to help the team win in every way possible.
DT: What was your favorite moment of the 2016 RGVFC season?
Memo: When we beat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, and I got two goals. After that match, we had a five day break, so we could enjoy those five days.
DT: You made a huge jump in production this season. What did you improve on most during this campaign?
Memo: Just getting used to playing LM or RM, and learning how to manage the game from those positions. All credit to Wilmer for helping me read the game a little better.
DT: On the flip side of that, what area of your game will you focus on this offseason?
Memo: I have to improve by just getting stronger, and every offseason, I feel a difference. I’m not going to stop until I get stronger.
DT: Speaking of the offseason, what are your plans now that the season is over?
Memo: Well my off season started the day our season ended. I’m working every day to get better, and stronger, because there was always room for improvement.
DT: You guys had a fun, close group this year. Who was the funniest player in the RGVFC locker room?
Memo: I would have to say Callum is the funniest *laughs*
DT: Last question, what would you like to say to the Toros’ supporters?
Memo: I want to thank them for the amount of support they brought to every game, and they always brought the energy we expected every game. We were so thankful for that.