T2 Takes All Three Points
Despite returning home after a road loss on Monday, RGVFC could not break out of their slump, losing 1-0 to Portland Timbers 2. The Toros controlled most of the action, but they were less than clinical at H-E-B Park.
Feeding the ball out wide to Chuy Enriquez or John Montano, the club couldn’t create chances or capitalize on corner kicks. Unfortunately, their opponent took advantage of one of their two corner kicks on the day. In the 14th minute, Josh Phillips was able to rise up and head home the set piece delivery. Omar Ontiveros allowed him too much space to build his momentum and he powered it past Nico Corti.
Enriquez created a chance when his low cross was knocked away by the T2 keeper, but Todd Wharton’s follow up was stuffed by a defender. Wharton, along with a few of his teammates, fired some ambitious efforts from outside the area with varying accuracy on Saturday.
Nico Corti continued an impressive rookie campaign, making three saves on the day to keep the scoreline 1-0.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Manny Padilla: The 2018 SuperDraft pick is becoming one of the most consistent players for RGVFC. He had a club high 110 touches, 13 more than the second highest. He was aggressive going forward and had some decent crosses into the box. He completed 81% of his 63 passes.
Matias Zaldivar: He was the primary action man in the middle of the attack. Zaldivar showcased his dribbling ability and vision, but he needs to complete more of his ambitious passes.
Todd Wharton on if the club is frustrated during this winless streak:
“Very frustrated because we know we are better than this.”
Bryce Marion grades his first two professional starts:
“I think that I went out there and tried to give a strong contribution to the squad. Unfortunately, as we lost both games, there’s apparent improvement that needs to be made on my end to help push the team towards our goal of attaining three points every match we play.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (1-5-7)
Simply, this young team needs to play better. There are absolutely talented players on the squad and they play hard, but that’s not good enough to win matches in the USL.
The set piece delivery was horrendous against T2, which made them earning ten corner kicks pointless. They also had 17 shots with only two going on frame. Sometimes, they seem too committed to playing the ball out wide and sending in crosses. That formula works for the Houston Dynamo, but that’s largely because they have Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto on the wings. RGVFC’s crossing accuracy was 19% against T2, that won’t get the job done.
Chuy Enriquez and Matias Zaldivar are the two linchpins for creating the action offensively. But, despite his great skill on the ball, Enriquez tends to over dribble and Zaldivar’s final ball has betrayed him consistently. Aldo Quintanilla works hard, but he can’t seem to get on the end of a lot of crosses and passes his direction, sometimes due to the passer’s fault and sometimes his fault.
Their defense, obviously the strength of this team, has been good but not good enough. They sit in the middle of the pack for clean sheets and goals allowed. They don’t often concede multiple goals, but their attack usually isn’t potent enough to overcome even a single goal deficit.
The Bad Guys: OKC Energy FC (2-10-1)
Needing to break out of a long slump, the Toros have a good chance to end that on Saturday. As poor as RGV has played thus far, they above Energy FC in the USL’s Western Conference.
Oklahoma City has statistically the worst offense in the USL. In 13 matches, they’ve only scored seven times. Christian Volesky, a consistent USL veteran, co-leads the Energy with two goals on the year, alongside Hugh Alexander Dixon. Their defense is only slightly better than the attack. They have conceded the fifth most goals in the league.
The silver lining for OKC could be that they are playing at home. While they have lost six matches this year at Taft Stadium, both of their wins came on their home turf. They will be returning to Oklahoma after a two-match Pacific Northwest swing, which concludes tonight against Portland Timbers 2.