A Bit One Sided So Far...
In the infancy stages of the South Texas Derby between San Antonio FC and RGVFC, one team has received a majority of the points, the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. In their second meeting in two weeks, RGVFC was able to find the only goal in the two matches, taking a 1-0 win at home. After an amazing keeper dual last matchup, it was Houston Dynamo keeper Calle Brown and Josh Ford facing off again in net. Brown would make two saves and get the clean sheet while Ford made four saves but allowed the lone goal. That score came at the end of the first half, a corner kick from Memo Rodriguez found the head of captain Kevin Garcia, who knocked it home for his first goal of the campaign. SAFC only finished with five shots, in comparison to 12 from RGV, as the Toros continued to establish themselves as a top possession, attacking side.
Saturday was also the most effective attacking performances we've seen from forward Kyle Murphy and defender Kai Greene. Murphy finished with three shots, and Greene was perfectly aggressive on his runs down the sideline. The defensive unit as a whole did well to earn the shutout, the team's second in three games.
Ballin' Bulls: Three Toros Who Caught My Eye
Dynamo Theory's Man of the Match Kevin Garcia: The captain with his second straight MotM. This time it was not only for his steady backline work and leadership, but also for scoring the game's only goal, a header off a corner kick.
Memo Rodriguez: The man who delivered the perfect ball into Garcia for the game's only assist, Memo was all action all night for RGV. He was a nightmare for SAFC attacking up the right wing, and continues to showcase his natural skills on the ball.
Calle Brown: He has established himself as a first choice keeper anytime he is loaned down to the Toros. He has only allowed one goal in four starts, and will hopefully have the opportunity to continue honing his craft in the USL.
Kevin Garcia discussing his finishing up against some of the teams' forwards, Memo and Escalante, following his first goal:
*Laughs* "The week Jose Escalante and I were with the Dynamo, I actually scored more goals than he did in the finishing part of training. Sebastien (Ibeagha), (Damarcus) Beasley, or Mauro (Manotas) can attest to this. Sebastien and I had 8 goals, one more than Jose. I never let him forget it. Memo and I are always competing so the banter is nonstop. I would say it's always pretty close"
Memo Rodriguez on how it feels to beat rival San Antonio FC again:
"The team fought and played really good soccer from minute 1 to minute 90. It gives us confidence and momentum going into Wednesday's match. We have to stay focused and continue doing the little things right"
Ivan Magalhaes on why the team was able to get the clean sheet:
"Lately, we have been emphasizing how important it is to keep it zero goals in the back. And for that the happen we have been training a lot of our defensive shape and trying to learn from our previous mistakes, so we do not concede goals in the same way we have conceded before."
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (5-2-4, 4th in West)
After extending their unbeaten streak to six matches, the Toros moved up to 4th in the Western Conference. They also find themselves at #8 on the USL's weekly Top 10 Power Rankings, bumping up a spot from #9. RGVFC was also represented on the USL's Team of the Week, as captain Kevin Garcia made the starting XI on the backline. These next few weeks will be very interesting, as well as telling for the young team. A lot of matches in a short time frame will test the team's will and skill, but it will be made interesting by the Dynamo being on a Copa America break as well. Will the first team send more players than usual down to stay fresh? Are some of the regular loanees going to get a vacation like the rest of their Houston teammates and not be available for the Toros? We will find out as we progress through June.
The Bad Guys: Swope Park Rangers (3-5-2) OKC Energy (4-1-4)
Last time RGVFC met Swope Park, the Toros handled Sporting Kansas City's USL side 4-1 in the Valley. That game was highlighted by an early Memo Rodriguez goal, and the ridiculous double assist 5 minute stint for Christian Lucatero. The Rangers started the season 2-0, but have only won once more since April 2nd. The common theme in their victories is multiple goals. In the only three matches they have scored twice, they have won. Swope is still without the USL's All Time leading goal scorer Dane Kelly, whose rehabbing an injury. Tyler Pasher and Daniel Salloi look to continue leading the attack,hoping to get three points at home. Dynamo fun fact: 2015 Houston draft pick Oumar Ballo picked up his first career assist for Swope in their 2-1 loss to Portland Timbers FC 2.
Saturday will be the first meeting of RGVFC and OKC Energy, the runner up in the Western Conference playoffs last season. The Energy are three points below the Toros on the table, looking to extend their own six game unbeaten streak, including three straight wins. A lot of distribution in the goal scoring, but 2015 all USL forward Danni Konig finds himself top of the pack with two. Their defense is strong, only allowing two goals in two matches, both coming in the first two matches of the season. Primary keeper Cody Laurendi is holding opponents to under a goal per match.
The Dirty Details:
6/8 TONIGHT vs Swope Park @ Children's Mercy Victory Field at 7:30pm CST
Watch it live HERE
6/11 vs OKC Energy @ UTRGV Soccer Complex
Watch it live HERE