A week after their first ever schedule was released, the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros announced they have added five players to their roster. Joining Christian Lucatero and Juan "Charly" Flores, will be striker Dzenan Catic, defender Kevin Garcia, keeper Devin Perales, and midfielders Charlie Ward and George Malki. According to the club's press release, all the players, except for Garcia, spent time training with the Houston Dynamo's first team, where the staff was able to get a good feel for what each player brings to the table.
Catic was a second round Superdraft selection of the Philadelphia Union just last year, when he spent stints on loan with Harrisburg City of the USL and the Carolina Railhawks of the NASL. Unfortunately, between those two stints, he scored zero goals. Granted, his appearances for both clubs were limited, it's still not a strong indication of a scoring touch. He is considered by some to still have MLS level talent, so he will certainly bring his A-game to the Toros. The 23 year old also has dual citizenship from the US and Bosnia.
Garcia, 25, was a Supplemental pick of the New England Revolution in 2012 after starring four years at Villanova. He was cut by the Rev before ever signing a contract, he played his past two seasons with IFK Luleå. He has a past connection with RGVFC Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera from his youth career.
Perales has spent most of his 22 years in his home state of Texas, starring for multiple seasons for the PDL's Austin Aztex. Throughout his college career, first at SMU then Coastal Carolina, he was a mainstay at keeper for the Aztex. He was a multiple time PDL All Conference keeper for Austin, as well as the club's MVP in 2014. He also played for the US U-14 national team.
No, not the retired, Florida State Heisman trophy winning quarterback, New York Knicks point guard Charlie Ward. This Charlie Ward is an England native, who is a product of the Aston Villa youth system and most recently a member of Stoke City's U-21 side. He trained last fall with the Dynamo first team and he, along with Kevin Garcia, will be officially on the roster after their P-1 visa and international transfer certificates are received in Houston/ Rio Grande Valley.
Another player with USL experience, George Malki joins the Toros after a stint with the Dynamo in training before signing with Arizona United SC. He scored once in 24 appearances and 11 starts in 2015 for the USL club. He was a second round Super draft selection of the Montreal Impact in 2014 and a member of the US U-17 side.
All these players join the Toros with something to prove, whether it's that they deserve another shot at the MLS level, or that they want to take the next step in their professional careers, they are all hungry. As a group, they also add some wide ranging experience and backgrounds to a team starting from ground zero. For young, raw players like Flores and Lucatero, that knowledge from their teammates will be incredibly important to their development.