Luna Llena For RGVFC
Well, some things aren’t meant to last forever. The Toros’ scoreless streak ended with a first half goal from Colorado Springs’ Josh Suggs. Thankfully, the kept their other streak in tact, now a nine game unbeaten run with a brace from Ruben Luna.
The Toros were a fraction off their usual elite passing precision early. Yair Arboleda, still down from the Houston Dynamo, providing excitement, and creativity to the wing early and often. He tried multiple crosses in, but none found a RGVFC player. George Malki was all action for the Toros, as well. Using his great pace, Gorgeous George blazed by defenders for a good portion of the match. It was Switchbacks FC however, who impacted the scoreboard first. A good turn, and a trip by Taylor Hunter, gave Josh Suggs a shot from close range. He fired it past Callum Irving, showing the Toros their first deficit in a match since late June.
A few minutes before the half, RGVFC equalized. As Arboleda chased a ball down, the Switchbacks keeper dove at his legs, in an attempt to deflect the ball. The contact in the box was enough to merit a penalty. Ruben Luna stepped up, and put it home. He would have to take another, as Arboleda had charged into the area early. He knocked the second one into the top of the goal for his fourth on the season.
The second half saw good possession from the Toros, and timely counter attacks from Colorado Springs. RGVFC doubled their lead on another penalty from Luna. This time, it was from a defender chopping down Emilio Garcia in the box. While both teams had great chances, it remained 2-1. The only other serious match events both were sending offs for two Switchbacks players. The game did not feature great officiating, and it resulted in things getting chippy late. That saw two different incidents result in Colorado being briefly down to 9 men.
Ballin’ Bulls: Top Three Toros From Last Week
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Ruben Luna: Luna found the net twice for RGVFC, both coming from the penalty spot. He now has five goals in four games, and continues to impress with his strength up front.
George Malki: Gorgeous George has been a vital part of the Toros attack from his fullback position. He’s one of the quicker players on the roster, and uses that pace to blow by defenders to send crosses into the middle.
Yair Arboleda: The young Colombian is must see TV with the ball at his feet. He has great pace, and exciting skills in possession. His play style opens up defenses, similar to how Jose Escalante did earlier this season for RGVFC.
George Malki explains the importance of getting the win after falling behind:
“I think that win was a huge one for us. We took the season sweep against Colorado and really solidified our playoff positioning. I think the boys showed that we are a resilient group, and the shut out streak really doesn't matter to us. The only thing that matters for us at the end of the day is three points, and that is what we are after every weekend. I still think that we can improve and become cleaner in certain aspects of our game and we will continue to work on those minor details. We aren't satisfied, we want that top seed in the West come playoff time.”
Ruben Luna on what’s responsible for his great run of form lately:
“I really have to give credit to my teammates. They have been very welcoming since day 1 for me, and just being able to connect in the field was key. There's a lot of unity in this team.”
Memo Rodriguez on how big of a impact George Malki brings to the attack:
“It real important because he makes it easier for right or left wingers, whenever we can make a 2v1 on the flanks, and have the defender make a decision on what to do. And if we do it with real speed, it's almost impossible to stop if we do it right.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (11-5-9)
This week saw the end of a streak, but continuance of the more important one. After conceded a goal for the first time in 2 months, RGVFC bounced back to take all three points at home. Ruben Luna has continued to be a great addition to the starting lineup, holding the ball up well, and never hesitating to put a shot on goal. He was calm and effective on all the penalties he took, three including the one disallowed by a premature run into the area by Yair. Luna earned a USL Team of the Week spot, and the club is now ranked #2 on the USL’s Top 10 Power Rankings.
The Bad Guys: Swope Park Rangers (9-9-6)
For the second Saturday in a row, the Toros will face a team that also had a midweek Wednesday fixture as well. Last week, Colorado Springs wasn’t able to keep momentum after picking up three points against OKC. Swope Park will face San Antonio FC at home, before welcoming the Toros. Both teams have big wins at home against one another. The only other visit to Children’s Mercy Park for RGVFC, it was a 4-0 drubbing. Swope dropped a 4-1 result when they visited South Texas.
The Dirty Details
Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village
Watch it live HERE