That Escalated Quickly
Well, it’s fair to say, at least for one week, the scoring drought for RGVFC ended. The match was competitive early, as both the Toros and Seattle Sounders FC 2 made strong moves on the attack. Then, before the half, Emilio Garcia struck. After Yair Arboleda drew a foul in a dangerous area, Garcia placed a picturesque free kick into the upper right corner. He wasn’t done, neither was Arboleda. Yair attacked constantly, using fancy footwork, and pure pace to blow by defenders. A few minutes before the half, he shook a defender, who ended up on his face, and put a perfect through ball to Emilio’s foot. He knocked home his second of the match.
Unfortunately for Sounders 2, the second half got worse. Much worse. The next tally for the Toros was by Ruben Luna, his first with the club. He used his head to finish a header across the frame of the goal by Rob Lovejoy. The Toros brought on some fresh legs as the half progressed. Three of them scored. Eric Bird, who entered for a dinged Jorginho James, knocked in one of his patented falling down strikes. Then, it was Kyle Murphy, who deflected a shot past the overworked Sounders keeper to make it 5-0. That was a high for RGVFC this season. But as we all took a second to reflect on that, Dzenan Catic turned and fired one in, making the final score 6-0 for the home team.
It was a very open, exciting match beginning to end. The defense came up clutch when it needed to, also saved once by an offsides nullified goal. Callum Irving pitched another shutout. And Charlie Ward, still on the field every second this season, and Jorginho locked down the midfield. It was the second straight match of a concerted effort by fullbacks captain Kevin Garcia and George Malki to press forward and send crosses in. This just makes the Toros possession based attack even more potent. Wilmer Cabrera has done a great job making adjustments, and it obviously shows when your side wins 6-0 against a team who was on a roll.
Ballin’ Bulls: Top Three Toros From Last Week
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Emilio Garcia: The Tijuana native sparked the Toros explosion with the first two goals. His free kick was struck perfectly, and his second was calm and collected.
Yair Arboleda: The recent signing of Houston Dynamo, Arboleda is as exciting as advertised. He was involved in the scoring early, and his creativity on the ball is something that can’t be taught. He’s a handful for any defender, and brings a fearless attacking attitude.
George Malki: For the second straight week, Gorgeous George has been effectively aggressive coming forward on the right flank. He has great pace, and has sent in some dangerous crosses. This style of play at fullback suits his arsenal perfectly.
Charlie Ward talks about what Emilio Garcia brings to the Toros:
“First of all, Emilio as a person, away from the pitch and on the field, is a pleasure to play with. He's a great lad and he works hard every time he plays, and now he is adding goals, which is a bonus for him and for us as a team. He's just a good person for the dressing room. But he definitely shouldn't take up hairdressing”(He cut his own hair and it was so bad he immediately went to the barber shop after.)
Kyle Murphy explains how much confidence a big win like that gives a club:
“It helps out a lot. We have all been working hard to fix the pieces that we have been missing lately, and to have a performance like that shows us that we are doing the right things.”
Captain Kevin Garcia on how the team can build on this win during a week on the road:
“We can't fall into the mind trap of thinking its going to be an easy game. We need to come out with the same intensity, if not more. Tulsa is a tough, physical team, who we have been itching to play again.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (8-5-9)
RGVFC finally broke out of their goal slump, and buried Sounders 2 6-0. It was a combination of great, aggressive play offensively, poor defending, and some well deserved good karma from the soccer universe. The first two goals were by Emilio Garcia, who earned a spot on the USL Team of the Week. Now at #5 on the USL’s Weekly Top Ten power rankings, RGVFC will need to keep the momentum going on a dual road match week. It is unsure if Yair Arboleda will still be down with the Toros, but he has been an exciting, and helpful piece so far. The club hasn’t allowed a goal since late June, so the defense and Callum Irving will look to keep that form going.
The Bad Guys: Tulsa Roughnecks FC (5-14-3)
Tulsa is the last place team in the Western Conference, but the Toros have yet to get a win against the side in two matches. They lost a 2-0 result in the season opener, and settled for a 0-0 draw a few weeks back. The Roughnecks have allowed the third most goals in the entire USL, and have the worst goal differential at -20. It will be important for RGVFC to handle their business, and not overlook Tulsa on the road tomorrow night.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (10-6-7)
They go from the worst in the conference Thursday, to facing the best in the West Sunday. In the first meeting between the sides, RGVFC will need to find chances against a Colorado side that has only allowed 18 goals on the campaign. They don’t score a lot, but with that elite defense, they get teams off their game and try to capitalize on counter attacks. The combination of RGVFC’s strong possession style, mixed with Colorado Springs dominant defense, could be a great chess match. It will almost surely not be a high scoring, exciting match, but, sometimes the matches that you wouldn’t expect to, produce fireworks.
The Dirty Details:
8⁄18 7:30pm CDT at Tulsa
Watch it live HERE.
8⁄21 2:30pm CDT at Colorado Springs
Watch it live HERE.