Big Debut, Bigger Win
Saturday’s match was a special one for RGVFC and the club’s history. The Toros defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2 by a 3-0 scoreline, their largest margin of victory this season. Also, RGVFC Academy alum Brandon Morales made his debut for the club, starting in the midfield.
It would be a star midfielder that opened the scoring at H-E-B Park. Todd Wharton struck from outside the area in the 5th minute. Then, his former University of Virginia teammate Eric Bird added another score before the half. Speaking of former teammates, both players beat former Toros and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Calle Brown. Opposite Brown in goal was Dynamo first-teamer Chris Seitz. Bird and AJ DeLaGarza joined him on the loan down.
RGVFC would cap off their big night with Nicolas Perea’s second goal of the season, a header from a Wharton corner kick delivery. The Toros were comfortably out-possessed by S2, but they held an advantage on shots and shots on target.
Back to the spotlight player Brandon Morales, the youngster didn’t look out his league, which was important. He completed 74% of his passes, including one key pass. Morales was subbed off in the 67th minute for Bryce Marion, a former Dynamo Academy product.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Todd Wharton: A big win was boosted by a big performance from the club’s captain. He scored the opener from outside the area and delivered a perfect ball for Perea’s goal.
Chris Seitz: He came up big for the Toros in goal, stopping all three shots he faced for the clean sheet.
Eric Bird: It was a great individual goal for the Dynamo midfielder.
New Names, Who Dis?
The USL announced a dramatic re-branding yesterday. While the all encompassing name will simply remain the United Soccer League, there are new names for the three divisions (formerly USL, USL D3, and USL PDL). The league’s top division, where the Toros play, will now be known as the USL Championship. USL D3 is now USL League One and USL PDL is now USL League Two. The change came with new colors for the divisions and has received mostly positive reviews, outside of people unhappy they copied the 2nd-4th division in England.
Welcome to a new generation.#UnitedForSoccer | #BeChampions pic.twitter.com/TVcz43pBjz— USL (@USL) September 25, 2018
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (6-11-13)
While it is too little, too late for the club to make the playoffs, RGVFC has showcased some major positive steps recently. They are undefeated in three straight matches, including two victories.
It is also good to see young players continue to get chances, like Morales, Marion, and Wilmer Cabrera Jr. Gerson Echeverry has done well to make sure they earn their spot, but by also not being afraid to give them a chance.
The Bad Guys: Reno 1868 FC (12-7-10), Fresno FC (8-11-12)
Unlike the Toros, Reno is playing for their playoff lives. They currently sit in the 8th spot with two games in hand and three points ahead of San Antonio FC. Brian Brown and Antoine Hoppenot star for the northern Nevada side. Over the weekend, they played to a 3-3 draw with their rival, Las Vegas Lights FC.
RGVFC’s second opponent of the week has only pride to play for. Fresno FC are eliminated from playoff contention in their first season. They are actually the only club below the Western Conference playoff positions with a positive goal differential (+5). Juan Pablo Caffa, one of the elite playmakers in the USL, leads their attack.
The Dirty Details
TONIGHT, at Reno 1868 FC, 9 PM CDT
Saturday, vs. Fresno FC, 7:30 PM CDT