RGVFC had one of the best defenses in the entire USL. A big piece of that puzzle was George Malki. The third year professional built on the successful beginning of his career with Arizona United, after being drafted in 2014 by the Montreal Impact. He gave the Toros’ a stout defender, but also a speedy fullback that could launch an attack down the wing. I was able to catch up with Gorgeous George about his season in south Texas, the hiring of Wilmer Cabrera and Michael Dellorusso possibly taking over in RGV, and an in depth breakdown of the club’s locker room music selection.
Dynamo Theory: Wilmer Cabrera was named Houston Dynamo head coach last week. What are your thoughts on the hiring?
George Malki: I think that the Houston Dynamo made an excellent decision, one that they will not regret. I have the highest praise for Wilmer, and he deserves this opportunity 100 percent, as anyone from the Toros would agree. He not only is a coach, but an excellent teacher of the game as well. Every role on the field is clearly defined, and each of his teams has an identity. Wilmer coached me with the U-17 national team, and I was lucky enough to have him again this past year with the Toros. I know that he will create a positive impact the moment he starts, and I’m excited to see how the Dynamo progress.
DT: A possible replacement for RGVFC could be Michael Dellorusso. You know him well from last year, and your time with Arizona United. How would he fare in that role with the Toros?
Malki: We easily had the best coaching staff in the USL this past season with the Toros from Steve (Fell) to Dello to Wilmer. Dello would make for a great head coach with the Toros, and the team wouldn’t skip a beat. Dello and Wilmer have the same philosophies when it comes to the game, and he also likes to develop his players in all aspects. I was fortunate enough to play for Dello last year, and he has really helped me develop in order to get to that next level.
DT: You guys had a close knit locker room, how much does that help on the pitch?
Malki: I’ve never been in a locker room with a group of guys that had the same chemistry that we did this past season, and you can see how that translated on to the pitch. We enjoyed each other’s company just like we enjoyed ourselves on the pitch. We were a family and each of us wanted to see our brother do well and make that jump to the Dynamo. I can still say to this day that we talk to each other on a regular basis in our group chat and just enjoy each other’s company. We played for each other on the field, and that is why we were successful.
DT: One guy you were especially close with, was Kevin Garcia, your roommate. What makes him such a great leader?
Malki: Kevin is like a brother to me. I remember landing in McAllen, and Kevin was the first person that I met. Ever since then, we’ve had a close bond. What makes him such a great leader is that he is a great person, and he is very level headed. He’s a guy that I really respect, and hope that we can be roommates again the near future.
DT: The USL added 2 teams from the NASL last week. How would you describe the USL as a league on the come up?
Malki: The USL is a great league for players to develop and to move on. The competition is great, and it’s going to be greater now that two more teams have been added to the league. It is a great stepping stone for younger players to develop and get game time.
DT: What’s up next for Gorgeous George Malki?
Malki: I wish I knew what was next for me, but what I do know is that I am going to continue to work hard this off season and stay in the best possible shape heading into next season. I’ve had some conversations with my agent, and I’ll have him sort out the details for the coming year. I would love a shot in the MLS, preferably Houston, but we will wait and see what happens
DT: Who had the worst musical selection in the 2016 Toros’ locker room?
Malki: RGV TOROS MUSICAL POWER RANKING.
1) Memo “The Bullet” Rodriguez: He had everything you could ask for. From rap to country, he had the rainbow of genres in his music library.
2) Eric “Birdman” Bird- This chap had a way of bringing the boys together like no one else could. He could play the relaxing, chill music, but then at an instance, he could have the entire team head banging and buzzing off the walls.
3) Callum “Chet Collins” Irving- Cal loved to dance to his own music that inspired others. He had a Canadian flare with his music that no one possessed on the team. It was special.
4) Charlie “Lorenzo” Ward- This lad had one genre and one genre only. Rap. To be exact, he pretty much only played Travis Scott’s album “Birds in the Trap.” We weren’t complaining because it was a fire album. Wardie also had a great Opera voice…
5) Devin “Dale” Perales- Look it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great. If you listen to the radio, then you were basically listening to Devin’s playlists. Think of the “NOW” albums. We pretty much were listening to “NOW 2016” all year when Dale got on the AUX cord.