As far as results for a dual road match week, the Toros didn't do too bad. Starting on Wednesday, when they faced rival San Antonio FC on ESPN3. With the teams combining for 27 shots, 11 on goal, you might expect a different scoreline than a 0-0 draw. Calle Brown was remarkable in net for RGV, and Josh Ford was equally impressive. The game was physical, but well controlled between the two Texas clubs. Halfway through the season's four game slate between the two, we have seen a 3-2 second half scoring explosion and a 0-0 goalkeeping duel. The third installment is coming up this week, this time at UTRGV.
The second match was another evenly matched showdown, this time with Saint Louis FC. Callum Irving got his first start in goal for the Toros, and kept a clean sheet through the first half. In the second half, it was the Toros who got on the board first, with a perfectly weighted through ball from Memo Rodriguez to Jose Escalante, who celebrated his 21st birthday with a calm shot past the keeper. That was Escalante's second on the season and Memo's first assist. The game looked as if it would be ending 1-0, until reigning USL Player of the Week Irvin Herrera, sent a perfect bending strike to the far post, where it pounced into the back of the net. If you're into that sort of thing, feel free to watch the video below. The match ended a stalemate, RGV disappointed in allowing the late equalizer and Saint Louis happy to salvage a home point.
Ballin' Bulls: Three Toros Who Caught My Eye
Dynamo Theory's Man of the Matches Kevin Garcia: The Toros captain was even more steady than he usual is this past week. He is the undoubted leader of the club, and is so calm with the ball at his feet on the backline.
Jose Escalante: The all action Honduran scored the only goal of the week for RGVFC. Collecting a perfect through ball from Memo, he stepped past the keeper and casually tapped in his second goal of the season.
Calle Brown: The Houston Dynamo loanee only played in Wednesday's match, but was an absolute brick wall in goal against San Antonio. His head to head saves battle was must see TV, and something you can watch below.
Jose Escalante on scoring a goal on his birthday against Saint Louis:
"Thank God for the goal, but I'm not happy about the final result. I wanted to win the 3 points."
Callum Irving on how it felt to make his professional debut:
"It felt fantastic. It's been great to watch the boys play and develop from afar but to finally be able to get on the field and contribute was a great feeling."
Ivan Magalhães on how the club can turn these draws into wins moving forward:
"I think we have been very solid the last few games, we just need to be more decisive in our attacking third and take all of our chances."
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley Toros (4-2-4)
The Toros come in at #9 on the USL's Top 10 Power Rankings this week. They also had Jose Escalante selected as a reserve for the USL Team of the Week. The club is certainly exceeding some expectations and their play has bolstered Wilmer Cabrera's name even more in the Dynamo Head Coach discussion. If they want to climb the tables even more, they will need to start stringing together three point bunches, instead of just one per match. Look for some Dynamo players to be down with the Toros for this one, as they play FC Dallas Thursday, but are then off of MLS action for a good chunk of time. Match action will be welcome in that time off, and the Toros provide a great platform for that.
The Bad Guys: San Antonio FC (2-4-4)
Long time, no see. Only a week and a half since their last tangle, not much has changed for SAFC. They will take on Des Moines Menace in the US Open Cup tonight, with the winner traveling to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on the Dynamo. We can only hope Josh Ford will decide to take the Toros match off following Wednesday's game. Not likely, but after seeing his incredible skill in the goal, one can dream. It will be important for RGV to establish their home field advantage in the South Texas Derby, something SAFC has not done in their two matches at home.
The Dirty Details:
6/4 at UTRGV 7:30pm CDT
Watch it live HERE.
The Shameless Plug:
As some of you, my loyal readers, have requested, I will be doing a few special, progress report type articles as the season progresses. Since we are 10 games into a 30 game USL campaign, the first will be in circulation, aka on DynamoTheory.com this week, most likely Friday. I will break down the players on the roster who need to improve, the ones that the Dynamo should take a look at, and some in between. Stay tuned for that and all the other great coverage this week on DT!