Partway through last season, the RGVFC Toros signed Eric Verso. Verso, a 2016 MLS Superdraft second round pick of the Montreal Impact, was ready to make his mark in his rookie year. Unfortunately after only four appearances, he was done for the season, due to rib injuries from a serious car accident. As a senior, alongside 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris, he tallied 13 assists and won the national championship for Stanford. Last week, Verso was one of the players getting their option picked up to return to the Houston Dynamo affiliate Toros in 2017. I was able to discuss his recovery, what he will bring to the team next season, and what it was like pairing up with J-Mo.
Dynamo Theory: Congratulations on having your option picked up! How great is it to be coming back to RGVFC?
Eric Verso: It is very exciting because the team was excellent last year, the most talented team in the USL in my opinion. Most of the players are returning, so I'm looking forward to being able to contribute and play with some top players.
DT: Obviously your 2016 season didn’t go as planned. You played in four matches with the Toros before the car accident. How’s your recovery?
Verso: My recovery went very well. It was very difficult at first, not being able to move around much, but I was lucky to have my mom come out to Texas for a few weeks to help take care of me. It was also great to have the coaches and guys on the team come see me at the hospital, which meant a lot to me. I am extremely blessed to be healthy again because things could have been much worse, and I'm happy just to be able to play soccer again.
DT: Whether you were in the match or watching, what was your favorite moment of the Toros’ first season?
Verso: Unfortunately I wasn't really able to play much at all during the season, but I liked watching the team all throughout the year. I enjoyed playing against the Dynamo in preseason when we were up in Houston and we did very well. So that was a good experience, and getting to know the guys was great as well.
DT: Jordan Morris and yourself were one of the top tandems recently in NCAA soccer. What made you guys so good together at Stanford?
Verso: Jordan is such a smart player in the timing of his runs, and he knew that as soon as I got the ball my first look was a through-ball to him. So it was very easy for me when you have a player with incredible speed that also makes great runs.
DT: We all knew he would be good, but are you at all surprised at how good his rookie season has been?
Verso: I'm not surprised at all that he's been so successful. His first practice in college, he scored a hat trick in our inter squad scrimmage, so I knew right away he was a special player. He is a smart player, plus very humble and hard working, so I knew that he would continue to improve and excel. I was lucky to be able to play with such a great player and person, and I love to watch him in MLS and with the USMNT.
DT: Due to how limited your time was last season, some Toros fans may not know what to expect from you in 2017. How would you describe your playstyle?
Verso: When I'm healthy, I am a creative midfield player that has a high soccer IQ and work rate. A player that I try to play like is Nicolas Lodeiro on the Seattle Sounders, always trying to impact the game offensively or defensively.
DT: Last question. Your alma mater Stanford will be looking to bring home another NCAA title this month in Houston. Do you think they will get the job done?
Verso: I really hope that they do bring home the College Cup! What the team has done this year so far is incredible considering the amount of talent and leaders that the team lost last year, and its a testament to Coach Gunn and the young players stepping up. I love watching them and I’m really excited for the team hoping for a repeat!