Following a bye week, that included a 1-1 draw in a friendly against UTRGV. the Toros return to USL action to take on Portland Timbers 2 this Friday.
The Good Guys: RGVFC Toros (0-1-0)
After a quick tease of regular season soccer action in Week 1, the Toros had Week 2 off to make adjustments before their second time out in USL play. The debut resulted in a 2-0 defeat to Tulsa, but overall, it was a positive match. RGVFC hit the post more than a few times and ran into a keeper on his A game to finish scoreless. On the other end of things, an unfortunate deflection off an injured player and a second half strike that even first team keeper Tyler Deric would've struggled with, were the only goals on the night. Memo Rodriguez led the club in shots and while he played great, he should look to switch some of the more difficult chances he took to a final pass into the box for a teammate like forward Dzenan Catic with a better angle. The midfield did a great job in possession, especially Charlie Ward and Jorginho James. They will look to continue that trend as the team will try to continue establishing itself as a possession first club. It remains to be seen if all the paperwork for some of the international players will be good to go in time, or if Bradley Bourgeois will be loaned down from the Dynamo, so those will be variables as the lineup is set. The Toros will have a great chance for a win on the road if they are able to capitalize on chances in the box and if they continue to win the midfield.
The Bad Guys: Portland Timbers 2 (0-2-0)
The reigning MLS champ's USL side has not had an ideal start to the season. After finishing 8th in their 2015 campaign, Timbers 2 has started off the 2016 edition with back to back losses. Their last loss came at home and to the tune of 3-1 against Vancouver Whitecaps 2. They are coached by retired MLS midfielder Andrew Gregor, who won a USL championship as a player. Nick Besler, younger brother of Sporting Kansas City star Matt Besler, and Dylan Damraoui have each found the net once, splitting the season total of two for Portland. Unfortunately for T2Damraoui will not be available against RGVFC after being sent off in the last match. T2 also boasts the 2015 USL Rookie of the Year, Kharlton Belmar, who has an assist already in the young season. Two other players Timbers fans are excited about is Victor Arboleda, an exciting Colombian prospect, and Alexis Meva, a product of Barcelona's academy. With five goals being allowed over two matches, it will be important for RGVFC to not play too passive on the road and really attack the backline of T2.
The best chance for the Toros to find their first ever win will be the play of their attacking midfielders. That group, which may include Eric Bird, Memo, and Jose Escalante (pending paperwork), will need to press the defense of Portland. And while putting shots on goal is obviously important, like I mentioned with Memo, instead of always blasting a shot or trying to position yourself to rip one, try to find that last unlocking pass to set up a teammate with an easier shot. If they are able to keep defense scrambling in the attacking area, the Toros may take three points on the road.
The Dirty Details:
Friday 4/8 at 9pm CST
Merlo Field in Portland
Watch it live HERE
Domo Arigato Mr Roboto
A few Toros took on an unlikely keeper during their bye week. A mechanical robot goalkeeper to be exact.
The three contestants were Memo, Jose Escalante and the skipper, Wilmer Cabrera. Surely they all put their first attempts past a machine right? Unfortunately only one made their initial strike, the elder of the group Coach Cabrera. Memo and Jose did redeem themselves on their second tries.
Too easy for Coach!
It only took Coach Cabrera one shot! #RGVFC #Toros #LeadByExamplePosted by RGVFC on Friday, April 1, 2016
Memo gets stonewalled on his first attempt
The #Toros took on the Robo Keeper today! Memo might have underestimated his reflexes! ⚽️❌Posted by RGVFC on Friday, April 1, 2016
Jose Escalante finds the net after some advice from Coach Cabrera
Coach Cabrera's words paid off! Jose Escalante sneaks the shot past the keeper! #RGVFC #Toros #RGVPosted by RGVFC on Friday, April 1, 2016