Breaking down the 2018 RGVFC roster, player-by-player.
We have officially concluded the third season in RGVFC history. It was the second straight year of no playoffs, but it included the youngest roster yet and there were plenty of positive takeaways. As we do every year, it’s time to break down each player on the Toros’ roster. (Only loanees that made five or more appearances are included. Positional breakdowns are only for non- Houston Dynamo players.)
2018 stats: 20 appearances, six clean sheets, 52 saves, 30 goals conceded.
Analysis: As a rookie, Corti was the primary goalkeeper for RGVFC. He impressed with his confidence and poise in his first professional season.
2018 stats: Seven appearances, 24 saves, three clean sheets, seven goals conceded.
Analysis: Whenever Nelson came down on loan from the first team, he gave the Toros a major chance to win. He was named to the USL Team of the Week for a six-save shutout of Phoenix Rising FC.
2018 stats: Five appearances, 16 saves, one clean sheet, five goals conceded.
Analysis: Working his way back from suspension, the Dynamo star goalkeeper brought veteran leadership and some quality goalkeeping to RGVFC. Nico Corti explained on multiple occasions how important Deric was to him this season.
2018 stats: One appearance, three saves, three goals conceded.
Analysis: The backup keeper for the Toros struggled in the preseason and only appeared once this regular season, conceding three goals in a 3-2 loss to Seattle Sounders FC 2.
Let Walk: Sanchez
I would guess next season we see a similar rotation with Corti the primary keeper and first team keepers coming down for various matches, primarily Nelson. Sanchez didn’t earn enough time to lock himself into the 2019 roster and I assume the club will add a new rookie.
2018 stats: 25 appearances, 80% passing accuracy, 112 clearances.
Analysis: One of the unsung heroes for the team in my opinion. Adams was able to log quality minutes in central defense or at left-back, wherever the team needed him more.
2018 stats: Five appearances, 83% tackle success rate, six interceptions.
Analysis: The 20-year-old didn’t see much time this season, but he looked promising in his limited opportunities.
2018 stats: 27 appearances, 44 interceptions, 103 clearances.
Analysis: He was signed up to the first team early in the season but spent most of the matches with the Toros. He’s a steady defender, but he had some careless mistakes early on.
2018 stats: 18 appearances, 63% aerial duel success, eight key passes.
Analysis: Expected to be a top defender in the USL, Greene ended up with a semi-disappointing season, partially slowed by injuries, and split time with rookie Manny Padilla.
2018 stats: Four appearances, 61% duel success, five interceptions.
Analysis: His preseason form was cause for concern and injuries and depth took him all the way out of the rotation early on.
2018 stats: 23 appearances, 91 clearances, two goals scored.
Analysis: 2018 was a breakout season for Ontiveros. He was a reliable defender and contributed a bit on set pieces as well.
2018 stats: 19 appearances, 15 key passes, 74% tackle success.
Analysis: He certainly didn’t play like a rookie, moving forward with confidence and battling any attacker sent his way. He was able to earn minutes over an established pro in Kai Greene.
2018 stats: 19 appearances, 81% passing accuracy, one assist.
Analysis: The rookie out of Virginia is as steady as they come. But, I would have liked him to get forward more often to fully utilize his quality passing ability.
Keep: Adams, Ontiveros, Castellanos, Padilla
Let Walk: Luke
On the bubble: Sullivan, Greene
Kai Greene is a quality defender, but after three seasons, it’s probably Dynamo or bust for him. If he leaves, Padilla is a no-brainer to get the lionshare of the minutes at right-back. Adams and Ontiveros should be mainstays in next year’s defense. I would probably keep Castellanos due to his potential. Sullivan had a decent enough rookie campaign to get another shot.
2018 stats: 27 appearances, 34 key passes, two goals.
Analysis: Players with RGVFC and Houston rave about his ability. The playmaker had a quality first season and could be a #10 for the first-team in the future.
2018 stats: Two appearances, 82% passing accuracy.
Analysis: With a deep group ahead of him, David struggled to find time this season.
Jesus “Chuy” Enriquez
2018 stats: 31 appearances, six assists, six goals.
Analysis: What a fun player to watch. Chuy is creative and dangerous on the ball and provided a lot of the firepower for RGVFC.
2018 stats: Three appearances, 67% passing accuracy.
Analysis: A late season addition, he made a very appearances but not many impressions.
2018 stats: 13 appearances, 82% passing accuracy, one goal
Analysis: The Jamaican was the victim of Nicolas Perea’s breakout season. He couldn’t find consistent time and his play suffered.
2018 stats: 13 appearances, nine key passes, one assist.
Analysis: In his rookie season, the Dynamo Academy product had positive moments and had to battle for every appearance.
2018 stats: One appearance, one key pass.
Analysis: Brought back late in the season, Monroy didn’t have much of an impact.
2018 stats: Two appearances, 4/5 in duels, two key passes.
Analysis: The first ever RGVFC Academy product to sign with the first team. He played in two matches late in the year.
2018 stats: 30 appearances, 978 successful passes, three goals.
Analysis: Put me in the group that didn’t expect anywhere near as great of a season from Perea. He was one of the most important players to the Toros.
2018 stats: 30 games played, 1,200 successful passes, five goals, five assists.
Analysis: The captain had his best season yet for RGVFC. He controlled the tempo and added some production in the final third.
2018 stats: 19 appearances, 23 key passes, three goals.
Analysis: He’s very natural on the ball and has great vision in the final third. He needed to earn more minutes to have a bigger impact.
Keep: Aguilar, Enriquez, Marion, Morales, Perea, Zaldivar
Let Walk: D. Cabrera, Hernandez, Monroy,
On the Bubble: James, Wharton,
James and Wharton are in similar spots to Kai Greene, either to sign with Houston or find a new adventure. Aguilar and Zaldivar are promising playmakers and Marion and Morales are simply promising. If the first team doesn’t sign Chuy, he’s an absolute must to keep. Perea flourished this season and could be the captain next year. Cabrera, Hernandez, and Monroy didn’t impress enough to stick around.
Wilmer Cabrera Jr.
2018 stats: 14 appearances, seven key passes, six interceptions.
Analysis: The youngster has a non-stop motor, but he needed to be more productive in the final third.
2018 stats: 11 appearances, 71% passing accuracy, one key pass.
Analysis: He was primarily a high-energy substitute for the Toros.
2018 stats: 19 appearances, 12 shots, one assist.
Analysis: Like Etim, he appeared off the bench mostly. He is strong, fast, and aggressive.
2018 stats: 22 appearances, five goals, four assists, 35 key passes.
Analysis: After making the team at the open tryout, he was the primary striker until Carlos Small arrived.
2018 stats: 15 appearances, five goals, one assist.
Analysis: A midseason arrival, Small took over from Aldo as the top target man and was fun to watch as his fitness increased.
Keep: Small, Quintanilla
Let Walk: Etim
On the Bubble: W. Cabrera, Jones
Small should be the striker in 2019 with a full season in McAllen. Quintanilla could be an excellent super-sub up top. Etim didn’t do enough with his appearance. Wilmer Jr. is a promising player and the only reason he isn’t a “Keep” is because he has to decide if he wants to come back or go play in college. For Jones, I think he could be productive given more opportunities.
Gerson Echeverry impressed me at every turn of the season. He had an incredibly young roster and kept them motivated during a rough season with unfortunate results. I think he is absolutely the right man for the job moving forward and can develop this youthful core into a playoff team. If he returns, he will be the only Toros’ coach to come back for a second year.
Most Improved Player: Nicolas Perea
Co-MVP: Chuy Enriquez and Todd Wharton
Most Likely to Sign with Houston: Todd Wharton
Rookie of the Year: Nico Corti
Toros Talkin’ About Toros
Kai Greene on what Kyle Adams does well defensively:
“He’s definitely a smart defender. He reads the game well and knows how to position himself accordingly. He also has one of the better touches on the ball and can ping a diagonal as good as anyone.”
Nicolas Perea on what makes Todd Wharton special:
“Todd is a special player because to me, he does the simple things right. Soccer is easy to those who make it easy and Todd makes the game easy, not only for himself, but for his teammates as well. Playing alongside him has been a great experience.
Bryce Marion on what makes Aldo Quintanilla a dangerous attacking player:
“For me, he’s deceptively fast and very technical with the ball, which is a lethal combination.”
Manny Padilla on what he learned from Kai Greene:
“Sometimes, it’s going to take hard work rather than just talent.”
Chuy Enriquez on what makes Carlos Small hard to stop:
“He’s big, strong, and holds up the ball well.”
Kyle Adams on what made Nico Corti successful in his rookie season:
“He made big time plays when we needed him to and saved us at the back on a number of occasions which helped keep us in games during our long run of ties in the early part of the season.”
Todd Wharton on Omar Ontiveros’ breakout season:
“I thought Omar was very good on the ball as a central defender. He could play out of pressure well and defense well in all areas of the game.”