Tic-Tac-Toe, Three Losses In a Row
Last week, RGVFC dropped their third consecutive match on the road, 3-2 against Portland Timbers 2. They entered the match very willing to allow Portland to control possession, which they did in a major way. RGVFC sat back and absorbed pressure and didn’t get burned early by a few solid crosses from T2. Then, despite showing little danger, the Toros struck first. A corner kick found Conor Donovan, who headed the ball towards the front of goal. Omar Ontiveros was able to rise up and nod it home in the 30th minute.
Unfortunately after the halftime break, things turned heavily in favor of T2. Jeremy Ebobisse, on loan from the first team, blasted a volley past a helpless Nico Corti. Then, Jack Barmby converted a penalty kick minutes later. Donovan was the guilty party on the play, his second foul in the box this season. Only a short while after going up 2-1, T2 added a third in the 68th minute. That was a total of three goals in 12 minutes, a concerning stat for the Toros defense.
RGVFC would pull one back on a penalty of their own. Todd Wharton notched his second goal of the year from the spot. Each team would see a player sent off as Matias Zalvidar received a second yellow for sliding in on the keeper. A T2 player pushed Zalvidar earning another yellow himself. The scoreline would hold at 3-2, giving Timbers 2 a win in their home opener this season.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Omar Ontiveros: The defender rose to knock home the match’s opening goal. He also completed nearly 80% of his passes and made seven clearances.
Kyle Adams: He had a team-high 70 touches and did well to distribute the ball from his position at left back. Adams was a threat to win the ball in the air or via interception.
Todd Wharton: RGVFC’s captain buried his second penalty of the season and officially set a career high on goals. Per usual, his passing was stellar at 87%.
Nico Corti explains head coach Gerson Echeverry’s message ahead of tonight’s match:
“Details. Details. Details. We need to take care of all the little details for the full 90 minutes.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (0-3-2)
I wouldn’t say it’s close to time for panic in the Valley, but they absolutely need to end this losing streak soon. On their first three-match road trip of the season, they gave up eight goals. Seven of those goals came in the second half, the other being a 1st minute tally by S2.
There has been small lapses in communication and focus for the young Toros squad and that’s led them here. They have no wins after five matches and will desperately look to secure three points tonight.
For most of last season, the club played with no identity. This year’s team is going through similar issues early in this season as they try to find the right mix of players. There has been danger on the wing from players like Chuy Enriquez and Zach Wright, but little production to show for it. Back in front of their home fans, the players need to play a complete match and secure their first win.
Tonight could be the first time we see a player go on loan from the Houston Dynamo for the midweek fixture.
The Bad Guys: Orange County SC (4-1-1)
Surprising to some, Orange County sits second place in the Western Conference. After losing to Sacramento Republic FC, OC has run off four straight wins. In those matches, they’ve outscored their opponents 12-0. Three of those victories came on the road.
Thomas Enevoldsen leads the club with five goals and has added two assists. Aodhan Quinn and former Swope Park captain Christian Duke have been huge additions to the midfield. Mark Segbers is dangerous on the wing and Nansel Selbol scored in his lone appearance of the season.
Orange County completes 80% of their passes and holds an average of 56% possession. They are tough to break down and have an experienced, talented midfield that helps build into the attack.
Where My Dogs At?
It’s Bark in the Park night tonight in South Texas. Fans can bring their canine companions to H-E-B Park tonight for as low as $10. Funds from the match will be donated to local pet-based non profits. If you want to see the most adorable dog in the world with her Toros toy, see my beloved Eloise below!
The Dirty Details
TONIGHT, 7PM CDT at H-E-B Park
RGVFC vs. Orange County SC
Visit the Match Center here and watch it live on ESPN+.