Unbeaten Streak Goes Timbeeerrrrr
All good things come to an end. For the first time since June, the Toros left a match defeated. It was a match that didn’t contain the usual sharp, possession based attack from the South Texas club, and allowed too many counter attack runs by Portland Timbers 2. The match’s only goal came from a Portland defender, who knocked a roller past Callum Irving in the second half. After seeing some of the saves he’s made this year, Irving will not be happy that one beat him.
The attack fell back to the scoring drought style of good passing, until losing steam in the shooting areas. Memo Rodriguez and TJ Casner were active on the wing, but the club as a whole needed to do a better job putting shots on frame. Portland has been playing better of late, but they are a team that down the stretch, the Toros need to be able to put away.
Ballin’ Bulls: Last Week’s Top Three Toros
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Memo Rodriguez: Memo was very active up the right wing all night for RGVFC. He finished with a team high four shots, and created a handful of other great opportunities.
Charlie Ward: Clockwork was a high energy, engineer in the midfield, as is now expected from the young Englishman. He is one of only four players in the USL to play every minute of the season for their team.
TJ Casner: Casner has been great in the last two matches back in the starting lineup. He is strong on the ball, and is always willing to look for a teammate in a better position.
Charlie Ward on the most important thing the club must do to get back to winning:
"Everyone be unselfish and be the good team we are. And, get back to just working hard being humble and knowing that saying we are a good team isn't good enough, we need to show on the pitch. We will do that in these coming 2 games, as we are motivated to get back to winning ways, and to being focused on 3 massive matches that will define whether we will play at home or away in playoffs. We are hungry to get back on the pitch.
TJ Casner explains how important the #1 seed is to RGVFC:
“It's our primary goal, so it's our most important venture until the playoffs start. We need to stay motivated in order to give us the opportunity to play every possible playoff game at home.”
Ivan Magalhaes shares Wilmer Cabrera’s post match message:
“His message is that we can't slow down now. Being qualified to the playoffs was a good achievement, but we don't want just to be good, we want to be first. So the next three games are going to be extremely important if we want to achieve this goal.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley Toros FC (12-6-9)
The Toros suffered their first setback since early summer last weekend. It wasn’t a crisp performance from RGV, and they allowed Timbers 2 to take three points on the road. George Malki is banged up, and Kevin Garcia’s now technically a member of the Dynamo, so it will be interesting to see where the depth comes from on the backline this week. One possibility is Jorginho James sliding into a CB role potentially off the bench.
With tonight’s match being a midweek affair, there is the chance of some reinforcements from Houston. One would wish for Jose Escalante, Yair Arboleda, or maybe Rob Lovejoy to provide some explosiveness to the attack.
The Bad Guys: LA Galaxy 2 (10-7-10)
The Toros will be looking to avenge one of their worst performances of this season against Los Dos tonight. In the only other meeting, RGVFC dropped a 2-0 result in South Texas. Tyler Deric was in goal that match for the Toros, who played an uncharacteristically sloppy match that night. Galaxy 2’s leading scorer, Jack McBean, is on loan with Coventry City. Unfortunately for their opponents, Ariel Lassiter is still around. After some midseason injury issues, the Goal Puppy is back in fine form, scoring in two straight matches. With their playoff chances strong, but not yet a lock, Los Dos will be hungry for all three points at home.
Orange County Blues FC (11-13-4)
Another California team, another team that the Toros lost their only other matchup to. Not only did OC Blues beat RGVFC 2-1 in South Texas, they also were partially responsible for a post match skirmish between the teams, one that ended with Jose Escalante suspended for four matches by the USL. On the pitch, it was two penalties by Didier Crettenand that made the difference for Orange County, the second coming in stoppage time. The goal for RGVFC came on a strange play, where Kyle Murphy was taken down in the box, but no penalty was awarded. The goalkeeper tried to control the lose ball, and knocked it right back to Murphy, who simply stood up and knocked it in. OC Blues are right on the edge of the playoff picture right now, and need points desperately.
The Dirty Details:
9/14 at LA Galaxy 2
Watch in live HERE
9/17 at OC Blues
Watch it live HERE.