Toros Drop A Double
RGVFC played the best team in the USL on Wednesday, then the worst on Saturday. They lost both matches. In their midweek affair on ESPN, they lost 2-1 to Real Monarchs, the USL affiliate of Real Salt Lake. The Monarchs scored first, then Eric Bird wasn’t able to convert a penalty kick. Jose Escalante would pull the Toros level on a beautiful one time strike in the second half. Unfortunately though, the visitors would take advantage of their chance from the spot. After a reckless foul in the area, the USL’s third leading scorer and former Dynamo man Chandler Hoffman smacked home a penalty in the 75th minute.
Their trip to the Pacific Northwest also featured penalty kicks. RGVFC couldn’t score on either of their free chances and lost 2-1. Portland Timbers 2 scored first after a poor pass in their own penalty area allowed for an easy shot. The Toros leveled around the half hour mark when Kai Greene’s cross found Houston Dynamo loanee Joe Holland’s head for a nice looking goal. Just after the half, Escalante earned a PK, but couldn’t put home his chance from the spot. Timbers 2 regained the lead in the 80th minute, before Todd Wharton squandered a penalty kick in the 87th minute. He went the same direction as Escalante and experienced the same result.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Matches Jose Escalante: The Honduran winger looked great in both matches last week. He scored a USL Goal of the Week candidate against Real Monarchs and was very active in the attack both times out.
Also after Jose scored, he had a planned celebration for his beautiful wife, Marcela Chahin, that helped share some big news. The couple is expecting their first child! I’m excited for both of them, they’re amazing people, and Dynamo Theory can’t wait to see the young Escalante soon!
TJ Casner: He is often one of the few players that takes on defenders. Casner is a creative attacking player and gives an often stagnant attack some life.
Kai Greene: Improves by the match. Greene delivered a perfect ball to Joe Holland for the lone goal against Portland. He is a dangerous attacker and his crosses are getting better.
TJ Casner on how the club can get things turned around:
“We need to start finishing our chances. Missing three penalties in a row is extremely unfortunate, but also not acceptable especially at critical times during games that we need to be winning. On a larger scale, we need to start putting teams on the back foot. We need to press forward early and score the first goal to stay on the front foot.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (6-10-3)
The situation in South Texas isn’t going to suddenly resolve itself. A major overhaul and evaluation is needed, as I covered in last week’s piece.
They will be without Jorginho James and Eric Bird due to yellow card accumulation and a red card. Those are two key players in the midfield that need replaced. Expect Joe Holland to stay with the club throughout this road trip. Francisco Pungo will hopefully continue to get comfortable up top and provide some scoring. Three different players failed to convert penalties last week. That’s ridiculous and shows the need for a leader to step up. They miss Ruben Luna in that department.
The Bad Guys: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (4-10-5)
RGVFC will get their first chance at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 in a midweek, midday matchup today. Whitecaps 2 have scored 20 goals this season, the same as the Toros. Their leading scorer is Marco Bustos, who has tallied five scores in five appearances.
Last season, RGV blew out Whitecaps 2 when the Canadian side was in first place in the Western Conference. It was one of the key matches for the 2016 Toros.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 (7-12-2)
These two clubs met earlier this summer in South Texas. The Toros took a 3-1 win, including first career USL goals for Ivan Magalhaes and Jorginho James. Zach Mathers leads the club with seven goals this season and Ray Saari has added four assists.
Sounders 2 has conceded the most goal, allowing 44 in 21 matches. Toros manager Junior Gonzalez made his name in the Sounders system and will hopefully enjoy a pleasant homecoming at Starfire Stadium.
The Dirty Details:
TODAY 2 PM Central Time
RGVFC at Vancouver Whitecaps 2
Watch it live HERE.
Sunday, 8/6 8:30 PM Central Time
RGVFC at Seattle Sounders 2
Watch it live HERE.