Don’t fret RGVFC fans, we officially have players on the 2018 roster! Yesterday, the Houston Dynamo and Toros announced ten signings for the upcoming season. The list included five players returning from last year and five newcomers to the Dynamo USL hybrid affiliate.
(Ages in parenthesis)
Goalkeepers: Nico Corti (22) and Matt Sanchez (23)
Defenders: Kyle Adams (21), Conor Donovan (22), Kai Greene (24), and Omar Ontiveros (22)
Midfielders: Nicolas Perea (25) and Todd Wharton (23)
Forwards: Jesus Enriquez (20) and Francisco Pungo (19)
The familiar faces are Greene, Ontiveros, Perea, Pungo, and Wharton. Greene and Wharton have been with the club since 2016, with Ontiveros, Perea, and Pungo playing last season. Greene, the explosive defender, played for new Toros coach Gerson Echeverry at Seton Hall. After Charlie Ward departed, Wharton stepped into the primary distributor role. I would peg him as a likely candidate to serve as the club’s captain. Ontiveros and Perea didn’t see much action in 2017, but both showed promise. An intriguing prospect will be Pungo. The physically powerful Colombian didn’t feature early in the season and spent some time at striker down the stretch. While his skill on the ball isn’t elite, his speed and strength make him a possible breakout star this season.
Two of the club’s new signings are goalkeepers. Nico Corti played for one of the dominant teams in college soccer, winning three NCAA titles at Stanford. Matt Sanchez brings international experience, one of the top choice goalkeepers for the Puerto Rican national team. He played for Loyola University of Maryland and Old Dominion in college.
Kyle Adams and Conor Donovan join the RGVFC backline. Adams, a New Zealand youth international, may take over for Eric Bird in the best hair on the team category. He played for San Diego State. A 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick of Orlando City, Donovan played primarily with Orlando City B in the USL. He’s played at youth levels in the United States national team.
Jesus Enriquez brings an exciting option up top for Echeverry and the Toros. He has featured for the reserve side of Liga MX’s Club Tijuana.
More roster moves will come soon as the Dynamo’s first team roster comes into focus.