Split Points With Swope
RGVFC are doing a lot of things right. They are defending well, creating chances, and have a solid rookie goalkeeper. Unfortunately, they are struggling to convert their chances and had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Swope Park Rangers on Saturday.
A couple frustrating moments highlighted this match. First, Aldo Quintanilla had a great run through the Swope defense, maneuvering around multiple Rangers. When it came time to shoot, the ball drifted close enough to Pablo Aguilar for the midfielder to take the shot, instead of Aldo. His effort on goal hit the outside of the net. Then, Jesus Enriquez drew a penalty just before the half. Todd Wharton, who scored twice from the spot already this year, had his shot saved by Eric Dick.
The Toros outshot Swope Park, a dangerous offensive team, 16-7 and 6-2 on shots on target.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Aldo Quintanilla: Despite not scoring, the Toros’ target man was active and in good positions all night against Swope Park. He should
Nicolas Perea: The midfielder had an elite game distributing the ball. He hit on 93% of his 44 passes. Earning another start this season, he is proving to be a good partner for captain Todd Wharton.
Jesus “Chuy” Enriquez: He was his usual self on the wing: dangerous, attack minded, and slippery to defend. Chuy earned the club a penalty opportunity when a step over move allowed him to draw a foul in the area. His crossing was also solid on the night.
Todd Wharton on how the club can turn draws to wins:
“I think we just need to be a little more composed when finishing. Also, we need to be sharper in the final third to turn our half chances into clear one. Obviously, I need to be able to convert the PK as well. We just need a bounce to go our way and I think it will open up for us.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (1-3-6)
For the Toros’ season so far, there’s good news and bad news. The good news? RGVFC has only lost three of their ten matches. The bad news? RGVFC has only won one of their ten matches. This has been the year of the draw for the Toros. Sometimes, a draw is a good result, where you were outplayed but managed to split points. Other times, it’s a just result. The clubs played evenly and the tie was fair. The unfortunate times are when you are clearly the better side, but you can’t find a winner and settle for one point instead of three.
There have been too many of the latter this season for RGVFC. They will play better, visually and/or statistically, but have to come away without a victory. The club’s finishing, as Todd Wharton mentioned, is a big piece to this puzzle. When chances are there to be had, the club needs to bury them. This club has talent and they play hard, but it comes down to execution.
The back line of Manny Padilla, Conor Donovan, Omar Ontiveros, and Kyle Adams is great. You also have Kai Greene, a top USL defender, in that rotation as well. Todd Wharton is always solid in the midfield and you can plug Nicolas Perea, Pablo Aguilar, or Jorginho James next to him and be successful. The forwards need to carry their weight. Chuy Enriquez has been fun to watch, but he needs to turn his skills on the ball into more goals and assists. Aldo Quintanilla seems to be a proficient striker for the most part, but if he can’t consistently score goals, Gerson needs to try someone else there. Zach Wright, Monday Etim, and Jordan Jones have showed speed and aggressiveness in bursts, but they must carry that attacking approach more often. Matias Zaldivar has solid vision and likes to create for his teammates, but he has to be more decisive in the final third.
This club is young, but that’s not an excuse for not winning matches. As the temperatures get hotter in South Texas, hopefully the shooting touches for the Toros do as well.
The Bad Guys: LA Galaxy II (1-6-3)
How different can two clubs with one win each be? Well, very different if you’re discussing RGVFC and Los Dos. The latter has the 7th best conversion rate in the USL, while the Toros sit 16th. In their last three matches, RGV has scored two goals combined. On the opposite side, the LA Galaxy USL side have scored 12.
If you aren’t familiar with the name Efrain Alvarez, you will get to know him soon. The Los Dos budding star has scored six goals in five appearances, including a hat trick two weeks ago against Saint Louis FC. Want to feel really bad about where you are in life at your age? He’s only 15 years old. Ethan Zubak and Miguel Aguilar add danger to the Los Dos attack as well.
Thankfully for RGVFC, their opponent is 0-5-1 on the road. Last Friday, they gave up seven goals at Portland Timbers 2. If the Toros are looking for a match to break out offensively, it may be this one.
The Dirty Details
TONIGHT, 7PM Central Time, H-E-B Park
RGVFC vs. LA Galaxy II