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The Bull & Its Horns: Q&A w/ President Bert Garcia, Republic Preview

In addition to a preview of the match against Sacramento, I caught up with president Bert Garcia to discuss the stadium naming rights, the season, and his dream concerts.

RGVFC's Christian Lucatero will represent the Dynamo organization in the Chipotle Homegrown Game
RGVFC's Christian Lucatero will represent the Dynamo organization in the Chipotle Homegrown Game
Onydia Garza

Garcia For President 2016

I was able to catch up with Toros' club president Bert Garcia on the progress the club has made, the announcement of H-E-B as the stadium naming rights sponsor, and everything else Toros.

Q: What makes H-E-B the right partner for the stadiums naming rights?

Garcia: First of all, I am not sure there is a bigger brand that represents Texas as HEB does. Therefore, to have opportunity with a partner of that caliber, is a reflection of where our organization is headed. HEB is seen all over our community and the impact it will have branding RGV FC Toros is invaluable. We are excited because we believe this is a giant step in many more great things to come.

Q: Speaking of the stadium, do you have any updated estimation of completion?

Garcia: Currently I do not have an estimated timeline for completion, but I do know we are working our tail off to make sure it is complete before our season is completed. In saying, I believe what is even more important is that we do t things the right way. As I mentioned before, we cannot focus on this season, but 10, 15, or 20 season from now.

Q: How pleased have you been with the fan support, even being just at temporary locations?

Garcia: The fan support has been amazing. The environment they bring to every game is exciting. We couldn’t ask for more. They have been patient with our construction delays, but they see their home being built right in front of them, and that has given them extra motivation.

Q: How appreciative of UTRGV for being able to step up for a big portion of the home games?

Garcia: Appreciative is an understatement. I am not sure if we would have had a season if it wasn’t for Chris King and UTRGV. They met us with arms wide open.

Q: Some of the Toros players have participated in school reading programs, with Habitat for Humanity and similar projects, why are those initiatives so important?

Garcia: For the RGVFC Toros, it is a must to give back to the community any way we can. Kids look up to our players, and for us it is a small token of gratitude to give back to the RGV. There is some team branding that goes with it, but the initiative is more about giving back than for marketing purposes. We are grateful that our players have embraced every moment.

Q: As far as performance on the field, how satisfied are you with the club's current standing?

Garcia: Our coaches have done an amazing job with our team. Personally it has been a growing process for me to handle emotionally. *laughs* As they explained to me before, the best team in soccer doesn’t always win. Therefore, I know for a fact that our record does not indicate the product on the pitch. Need less to say, the Valley is proud of the product that the Houston Dynamo and Wilmer Cabrera have produced.

Q: Speaking of the Dynamo, they have been pretty consistent in providing players on game day loans to RGVFC. Are you still incredibly happy with that affiliation?

Garcia: Incredibly happy will not sum it up. The affiliation is the biggest reason we have had the success we do. Not only for the players they have provided, but the knowledge they provide on and off the pitch is invaluable.

Q: Is there any discussions currently for an official kit sponsor?

Garcia: Absolutely! We wanted to make sure we took care of this deal first and then focus on finishing up our kit sponsorship. I believe within the month, we will have our official kit sponsorship.

Q: What can fans expect from the Valley's other pro team, the Vipers, this season? Any exciting news or updates?

Garcia: Well, the Rockets always put on a good product on the court, so just the fact that it is closer to the season it is exciting. We had a lot of players play well during Summer League, and some have signed great deals overseas. It is always good to see our players benefit from playing the RGV Vipers and the NBA Development League. Also, Construction is full speed at Bert Ogden arena, so we will have some great build up (no pun intended) throughout the season. It is an exciting time for the Rio Grande Valley.

Q: If you could bring one musician, alive or dead, to perform at the H-E-B Park ampitheatre, who would you choose?

Garcia: One? Just one? I am not sure I will answer the question appropriately. I love music! I think I love music more than sports *laughs*. So my diplomatic answer will be that I would love to bring these 5 bands to the valley, I am not saying it is going to happen, but a man can dream, right? 1. Pearl Jam 2. OAR 3. Incubus 4. Dave Mathews Band 5. Manu Chao

RGVFC (7-5-7) vs. Sacramento Republic (8-6-5) Preview

The Toros are only one point behind the Sacramento on the tables. Their matchup earlier this season also ended with the Republic up 1. The Toros equalized twice in the Golden State, but they were victims of a late winner for Sacramento, in an out of the ordinary not elite performance by goalkeeper Callum Irving. Since then, Sacramento only has one win in 6 outings, and they are coming off two straight losses. The Toros are coming off a long layoff, 17 days since their eye opening destruction of Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2.

Lucatero Added To Homegrown Roster

RGVFC's Christian Lucatero will represent the Houston Dynamo organization in tonight's Chipotle Homegrown Game, just as Memo Rodriguez did last year, notching an assist.  The MLS Homegrown squad will face off against Mexico's U-20 side in a lead up to tomorrow's MLS All Star game. Lucatero has been exciting in his limited action in the Valley this year, and as the season progresses, he will surely get more opportunities to make his mark.