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The Bull & Its Horns: A Week of Good Offense and Weird Lineups

In their two matches last week, RGVFC attack improved, despite featuring unusual lineups

Kyle Murphy battles for a loose ball earlier this season against Los Dos
Christian Inoferio

More Goals, Less Familiar Faces

Last week, the Toros played Reno 1860 FC on Wednesday and Seattle Sounders 2 on Saturday. Neither match featured the usual lineup for RGVFC. Against Reno, for the first time in Toros’ history, Charlie Ward was not in the starting lineup. He played every second of every match last season, and this season up to that point. Dynamo players Kevin Garcia, Taylor Hunter, Memo Rodriguez, and Joseph Holland were down on loan.

Memo opened the scoring with a goal that should not have been allowed. Not long after Dane Kelly missed a penalty for Reno, a ball into the box found Rodriguez. He hit the ball off of Todd Wharton, who was in an offside position. He blasted the deflection into the top of the net. Kelly, the USL’s all time leading scorer, converted a chance on the break. Reno would add two more in the second half, sandwiched around an Eric Bird converted penalty. Marco Carducci made his Toros’ goalkeeping debut and allowed three savable goals in the 3-2 defeat. Charlie Ward did appear as a substitute in the second half.

RGV returned home to face S2 on Saturday. They were without Eric Bird, Ward, and Kai Greene. All of those players are traveling with the Dynamo for their US Open Cup match tonight, more on that later. Jorginho James opened the scoring with the Toros’ goal of the season so far. The keeper was off his line, and Jorginho curled a shot over him from a long way out. It’s a travesty it didn’t make the USL Goals of the Week.

Seattle would equalize on a corner kick in first half stoppage time. The Toros regained the lead on a great cross from TJ Casner to Ruben Luna. The striker was able to knock it in right in from of goal. Just like Jorginho, Ivan Magalhaes scored his first goal for the club this match. He tapped home a free kick delivery from Emilio Garcia.

Ballin’ Bulls:

Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Week Ivan Magalhaes: He scored his first Toros’ goal and was stout defensively in both matches.

Jorginho James: That goal was nearly enough for me to give him Man of the Week. He didn’t play in the Reno match, but helped control the midfield against Sounders 2. The Jamaican made the USL Team of the Week as a reserve.

TJ Casner: The lanky winger got some of his biggest minutes all season last week. He showed he deserves the time with great play out wide, including an assist.

Talkin’ Toros:

Borja Angoitia describes the crowd against Sounders 2:

“It was the best atmosphere we've had all season long. Their presence was well felt and it pushed us to score those two crucial goals. Hoping for more of the same Saturday night!”

The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (5-4-2)

The lineups last week were strange. It was beyond weird to not see Charlie Ward out there. Joe Holland was very impressive in the Reno match. He is creative in the final third, and difficult to knock off the ball. Carducci certainly didn’t make a very positive impression in his first outing. Angoitia was back in goal for the Seattle match.

RGV’s offense picked up the pace last week, and hopefully will continue that upward trend. The possession based attack is returning, and that’s a good thing. Last year, they made their run in the summer and it seems they may be heading that direction again.

The Bad Guys: LA Galaxy 2 (2-8-2)

It has been a rough season for the typically strong Los Dos. They’ve lost three straight matches since a 1-1 draw with the Toros. With only ten goals in their 12 matches, the Galaxy 2 are needing a huge turnaround offensively.

They trailed RGV 1-0 for a good chunk of that draw, before equalizing late on a lightning quick counter attack.

The Houston Toros?

Seven RGVFC players will travel with the Dynamo to play North Carolina FC in the US Open Cup tonight: Eric Bird, Kai Greene, Jorginho James, Ruben Luna, Camilo Monroy, Kyle Murphy, and Charlie Ward. It’s unknown who will play, and how much, but if any of this contingent gets on the pitch, they will be playing to impress the first team. Everyone but Monroy played for Dynamo manager Wilmer Cabrera last season with the Toros, and could factor into his future plans with the club.