Defeat To Dos, But Beat Blues
It was a mixed bag of results last week for RGVFC in California. On Wednesday, they had to stomach a 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy 2. It was an evenly played match throughout, the Toros possessing the ball well, but stifled by the great goalkeeping of Clement Diop all night. Los Dos was less effective overall offensively, but got a great strike from the Goal Puppy, Ariel Lassiter, to take the result at home.
On Saturday, they were able to quickly end their two game losing streak, defeating Orange County Blues late. It was another hard fought match by both sides, this time, it was the Toros getting a second half winner. After a first half that saw OC get two goals called back due to offsides, it was scoreless until the last 10 minutes of regulation. Brought on as a late sub, Dzenan Catic was able to send a powerful header past the keeper in the 80th minute off of a perfect ball from Kyle Murphy.
Ballin’ Bulls: Last Week’s Top Three Toros
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Matches Dzenan Catic: The tall Bosnian provided the only goal for the Toros this weekend, a late winner against OC Blues. He’s a difficult player to deal with due to his size, and strength with his back to goal.
Kevin Garcia: The recently signed Houston Dynamo defender, Garcia was a much needed stabilizer on the backline for the two game road swing. Captain was crucial to only allowing the one goal, very few shots on net for the two California opponents, and was effective when attacking the wing.
Kyle Murphy: Another big, strong forward for RGV, Murphy provided the perfect cross to Catic for the winner against Orange County. He was great attacking up the right side in both matches.
Kevin Garcia explains the boost Dzenan Catic brings the club off the bench:
“Catic is a quality player, and to be able to use him that late in the game is extremely helpful for the team. He helps take some of the pressure off of the defense with the opportunities he creates for himself.”
Ruben Luna talks about the positives of having a roadtrip towards playoff time:
“It was pretty great to spend time together with the team, definetly helps us stay close off the field, it's very important. It's a very close group of players here, and I think it reflects on the field”
TJ Casner on the importance of beating rival SAFC this weekend:
“It's crucial! With a win vs SA, and the right results within our league, we can still win the conference!”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (13-7-9)
The Toros will return home to face rival SAFC, in what will be a pivotal match for both sides as the regular season ends. With a win, and a loss from both Sacramento and Colorado Springs, the Toros take the Western Conference crown. It will be interesting to see who will be in action for the club this weekend in the South Texas Derby. Last week, it was Devin Perales getting both starts in goal, while usual starter Callum Irving was training in Houston, eventually serving as a Dynamo backup in the 1-0 win as Real Salt Lake. Kevin Garcia was able to start both matches in California, but it’s unsure if the Dynamo will keep him available to the Toros. With only an appearance in a friendly for the first team, one would hope Jose Escalante and Yair Arboleda receive game time in the USL, rather than sit on the bench of the MLS.
It will be important for the Toros to enter the season on a high note, and they should go out looking for all 3 points from their rival. There is now a 4 way tie for the team lead in goals that may be decided as well. Dzenan Catic, Ruben Luna, Memo Rodriguez and Emilio Garcia all have six tallies, and while winning the match will be priority #1, the club’s golden boot could be won as well.
The Bad Guys: San Antonio FC (10-11-8)
The match is important for RGVFC for the battle for the #1 seed. It’s important to San Antonio because they still may not qualify for the playoffs without a win Saturday. The club has been up and down this season, but needs to play a complete match to defeat the Toros for the first time.
They have a lot of players who can put the ball in the net, Rafa Castillo and Franck Tayou being the leaders of that pack. They will need to rely on good defense, and timely counter attacks to offset the Toros always strong possession, especially at home. This match will be must see TV in South Texas.
The Dirty Details
H-E-B Park Training Complex Field
9/24 at 7:30pm CDT
Watch it live HERE