Clutch Callum Saves The Day
Kyrie isn't the only Irving that comes up big in crucial situations. In a game largely controlled by the OKC Energy, it was Toros' goalkeeper Callum Irving who stepped up the most. The RGVFC offense was not in top gear in Oklahoma Saturday night, and it seemed like it would be either a scoreless draw, or an Energy home victory. The turning point of the match came in the 71st minute when Kevin Garcia was shown a red card, committing a foul in the box as the last defender on an Energy run. There was light contact made, and the ref fell for a believable tumble by the attacking player. 2015 USL Golden Boot Runner-Up Danni Konig shot the PK to his left, but was thwarted by a well timed dive by Irving. He had a chance to redeem himself minutes later, as Jorginho James committed a foul in the penalty area. This time Konig aired the shot over the crossbar, possibly a bit rattled from being stonewalled on the previous attempt. It ended up being the fourth straight match without a win for RGVFC.
Ballin' Bulls: Last Week's Top Three Toros
Dynamo Theory's Man of the Match Callum Irving: The Canadian National Team keeper earned a clean sheet with four saves, including one on a pivotal PK. He was named to the USL Team of the Week as the lone goalkeeper.
Memo Rodriguez: Continuing to show he's a dangerous offensive threat, Memo was one of the more effective attackers for RGVFC.
Leo Ayala: After George Malki came off with a knock, Ayala came in and played very well in a longer than expected shift.
Callum Irving on how it feels to be recognized as the best goalkeeper in the USL last week:
"It's nice to be recognized by the USL, however, it was a great all around display from the guys in front of me, and I hope we can take our defensive effort into the next game."
Memo on what the club needs to do to find the net:
"We have to stay focused and composed in the final third, and we have to put them away when the opportunity presents itself. We keep teams around during games, and we give them chances to take the lead. If we keep our composure, stay positive and not get frustrated, the goals will come."
Leo Ayala on how the team earned a clean sheet against a tough OKC team:
"I would have to say it all came down to playing for each other and working hard. And, of course, a great goal keeper with a huge penalty save."
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (6-5-6)
The club will be without its most dependable defender, and it's most electrifying attacker against Tulsa at home. Captain Kevin Garcia will be facing a red card ban for this match. The only other match he didn't start was a shellacking against Swope Park. They will also be without Jose Escalante, serving the second of a four game suspension from the league for allegedly spitting at an OC Blues player in a post match skirmish between the teams. The team could have reinforcements from the Houston Dynamo, who play Orlando City SC on Friday, and could send down some unused players for some match time on Sunday. The club will also likely be playing their first match at home, not at UTRGV Soccer Complex. Currently, the plan is for the match to be at the club's practice complex.
The Bad Guys: Tulsa Roughnecks FC (3-11-2)
The Roughnecks are in last place in the USL's Western Conference. They only have three wins on the season, but one does come against RGVFC on opening night. They do have the league's fifth leading scorer, and reigning USL Player of the Week, Sammy Ochoa. Their last away win came in early May, and it will be important for the Toros to get three points at home in a match they should win on paper.
The Dirty Details:
Sunday 7/10 at 7:30pm CDT @ RGVFC Practice Facility
Watch it live HERE.