Well, we’ve reached the final article from me on the 2017 RGVFC season. So far, I broke down the keepers, defenders, and midfielders. Today, we take a look at the forwards, including strikers and wingers.
(Only players that featured in five or more matches)
TJ Casner: One of the top performers for the 2016 Toros, Casner had a tough time getting on the pitch early in 2017. But once he got back into the rotation, the 2nd year winger was a big part of the Toros attack.
Jose Escalante (Dynamo): He made over 20 appearances with the Toros and really picked it up during the middle of the season. He knocked home four goals and is a super aggressive player.
Ruben Luna: A year after he provided a big boost to the RGV attack, 2017 was a massive down year for Luna. With the club not having the possession-based attack they did in 2016, it was difficult to get service into the hold-up style striker.
Camilo Monroy: A comet for the Toros. When he played, he was explosive and exciting to watch. Unfortunately, he missed most of the season due to injury. The 19 year old has incredible pace and creativity on the ball.
Kyle Murphy: He was the primary beneficiary to Luna’s down year. Murphy became the first choice striker and did well in the role because he is able to run in behind defenders. His finishing was solid and he works hard on and off the ball
Francisco Pungo: Another 19 year old. Pungo showcased a lot of physical strength and speed, but not a ton of quality on the ball. He didn’t feature until towards the middle of the season.
TJ Casner was a favorite of Wilmer Cabrera in 2016, so there’s the possibility the Houston Dynamo manager could be interested in adding him as a depth piece on the wing. He doesn’t fill an international spot and is very skilled on the wing. It will be interesting to see if Jose Escalante is brought back by the Dynamo, spending another season here on loan from Olympia in Honduras. He’s a very talented player, but does fill an international spot.
I would love to see Pungo and Monroy brought back next season. I think both players are gifted and showed promise in limited time with RGVFC.
Unless the Toros decide to return to a possession based attack, I don’t anticipate Ruben Luna returning. He isn’t the type of target forward that can create for himself running with the ball or in behind defenders. He needs service to him with his back to goal. A counter attacking style isn’t suited for him. Kyle Murphy had a major breakout year, but I don’t believe he’s ready to move up to the first team. Hopefully, RGV brings him back next year, so he can prove he can continue to improve.