Heard It through the Grapevine
So, as you know if you attempted to watch Saturday's match between RGVFC and LA Galaxy II via the USL Match Center, there was no stream. Being an out of town reporter, the USL usually makes it easy; I have full access to the matches, live and afterwards. Unfortunately, due to an alleged bandwidth issue at UTRGV, the stream wasn't available. I'm sure the USL, who guarantees every match is available online in HD, was thrilled that the site they allowed the Toros to use as a temporary home wasn't able to make that happen. The reason I mention this is because this recap will be much shorter, and less detailed than my usual work, seeing as I am just recapping the tidbits I have seen from various other writers and game recaps.
In front of a sellout crowd at UTRGV, the Toros had a host of Houston Dynamo loanees boost their troops. Two new players to appear: starting in goal was red card suspended keeper Tyler Deric and rarely used midfielder Zach Steinberger. Mauro Manotas was up front for his second straight match and Sebastien Ibeagha made his fourth start on the back line on loan from Houston.
Deric was tested a couple times early but was able to keep a clean score line for the first 45'. On the other end, Honduran sensation Jose Escalante, coming off a week of training with the first team, had some exciting scoring opportunities, however, only one resulted in getting a shot off. Neither team found the net until the 47th minute, when Los Dos captain Jack McBean scored his team leading 6th goal. Less than five minutes after that, it was the gentleman they call The Goal Puppy's turn. Ariel Lassiter found the next in the 52nd minute to give Los Dos a 2-0 advantage. While they had previously conceded goals after going ahead in matches this season, they withstood three shots from Manotas and a shot on goal from both captain Kevin Garcia and Jose Memo Rodriguez on the night. The win gave Galaxy II their first win away from home and the top spot in the Western Conference for the time being. The loss was RGVFC's first since their season opener at Tulsa.
Ballin' Bulls: Three Toros That I Am Deducing Played Well
Dynamo Theory's Man of the Match, Mauro Manotas: The Dynamo loanee fired off three shots and was the target of most of the Toro attack.
Jose Escalante: Easily could have been Man of the Match, but I wasn't able to visually see his impact, only his stats and hearsay. It did seem he was his usual, bringing the action attacker, but he only finished with one shot on record.
Memo Rodriguez: The Dynamo Homegrown product had one of the better chances late in the match when he forced Clement Diop into a tough save on a well placed strike for a 1/3 of the Toros' shots on goal.
The Next Running of the Bulls:
5/7 at 7:30pm CDT
Toyota Field in San Antonio
Watch it live HERE.
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (2-2-1)
After a one week cameo in the USL's Top 10 Power Rankings, the Toros are no longer even mentioned in the "Best of the Rest" section after their loss to #1 ranked Los Dos. The team needs to use the attacking prowess of Escalante and company to create goals, not just chances. Maybe a little bit more of Memo Rodriguez, who is one of the better players at firing from distance would put more shots on frame. My prediction of the Dynamo contingent this week is Ibeagha, Calle Brown (even though I believe they should give Devin Perales the start), and maybe Manotas again. It has to be just a matter of time until a guy of his scoring ability finds the net at the USL level, right?
The Bad Guys: San Antonio FC (2-2-2)
This will be the first time we get to see our in state rival in regular season action. They are led in scoring by a former top Dynamo draft pick, Reggae Boy, Jason Johnson. The team's leader in shots and shots on goal however is another former top MLS Superdraft pick, Carlos Alvarez, the #2 selection in 2013 by Chivas USA who was also a member of the Colorado Rapids. Josh Ford has done a strong job in goal for SAFC this season, starting all of the club's matches and boasting a .800% save percentage. Also, midfielder Rafael Castillo is coming off a USL Team of the Week selection after he scored the winner for SAFC at home last match. The Toros will likely be dealing with another packed house for San Antonio, who has had great attendance so far, factoring in a little something extra for the rivalry's debut.
There are two SAFC goals featured on this week's USL Goals of the Week, if you're into that sort of thing...
Talkin' With the Toros:
Jose Escalante on how Los Dos was able to keep the Toros scoreless:
*Translated* "They were more concentrated. It was a bad night."
Ivan Magalhães on the importance of starting the rivalry off with a win:
"Extremely important. Because it is important to set the tone for the season since we meet them a few more times and also to recover from last game."
Kyle Murphy on how it felt to play in front of their home crowd after opening the season with four road matches:
"It was great to finally play in front of our own fans. They were electric throughout the entire game. Unfortunately we didn't get the result, but we are all working hard for our upcoming matches."
Memo Rodriguez on how the club can turn great chances, into more goals:
"We just have to have a little bit more composure in the final third. I think with that, and have that killer instinct in the box, we'll fine"
The Battle for the RocketSpur?
Not always, but some rivalries or derbies have awesome names. With four regular season matches against one another this season and we'd assume for years to come, what should this newly found rivalry be called? I know sometimes it's a moment or a certain match that ends up determining a derby's name but, here are a couple of ideas, and PLEASE leave your suggestions in the comments local fans:
The Lone Star State Showdown
It is kind of generic, and may lose its luster when another USL team pops up, or the Austin Aztex return, in the Lone Star State, but it works for now.
The Battle for the RocketSpur
A simple mashup of the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. A stretch, but somewhat catchy? No? Alllllrighty then.