Finally, The Friendly!
RGVFC has been heavily promoting their friendly with CF Monterrey, and rightfully so! It will be the first match played at H-E-B Park, the lovely, brand new stadium for the Toros. It’s also a high quality opponent, with Rayados being a historical club in Liga MX. No definitive word yet if the game will be broadcast live.
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
A large chunk of the Western Conference regular season runner up roster is back. The club will get Ruben Luna for a full season, after he was a goal scorer machine after arriving mid year in 2016. Charlie Ward will try to duplicate his Iron Man form of last season, when he played in every second of every match. The goalkeeper position lost its top two players, Callum Irving and Devin Perales, but added Spaniard Borja Angoitia.
Throughout the season, and especially with the Houston Dynamo on international break this week, expect to see some players loaned down on match days. Most of the top candidates will be Toros’ men from last year, like Kevin Garcia, Memo Rodriguez, Taylor Hunter, and Jose Escalante. I would also anticipate top draft pick Joe Holland to get some match time with RGVFC as well.
The Bad Guys: San Antonio FC
San Antonio FC will be looking for their first victory in the South Texas Derby. They were eliminated from playoff contention last year on the final match of the season by, you guessed it, RGVFC. SAFC brings back a solid squad. Rafa Castillo was a vital piece in the midfield. Matt Cardone is back in net, and Shawn Chin is back in the attack.
Some big additions for the club include former Dynamo defender Sebastien Ibeagha, Kris Tyrpak, who starred for Swope Park Rangers last season, and Devin Vega from FC Dallas’ academy. Another big change for the club was becoming the USL affiliate of NYCFC.
Borja Angoitia on what the fans can expect as the season starts: “We have a very good, and hungry team with a fun style to watch and we will fight to win every game and give them reasons to pack the stadium every weekend.”
The Dirty Details:
3/26 6pm CDT at H-E-B Park
vs. San Antonio FC