A Lopsided Loss in the South Texas Derby
When discussing rivalry match-ups, it’s a common expression to say “throw out the records” to indicate the match will be close, no matter the distance between the teams in the standings. That was not at all the case in last week’s South Texas Derby. With San Antonio FC battling for a playoff spot and RGVFC with only four wins on the season, the match played out somewhat as expected.
The main part of the match that was unexpected was the Toros scoring first, with Chuy Enriquez able to slice his way into the penalty area in the third minute and put home his fifth goal of the season.
Unfortunately, that early goal would be the only bright spot of the evening at H-E-B Park for the hosts. While the scoreline held until halftime, the second half belonged solely to San Antonio.
Connor Presley bounced a shot past Nico Corti to equalize in the 49th minute. After assisting on the first goal, FC Cincinnati loanee Lance Laing scored the second. He was given too much room and looped a shot over Corti in the 62nd minute.
For good measure, San Antonio got a third tally on the night when Ever Guzman chipped the ball over Corti on the first touch. It was a rough night for the Toros shot stopper conceded three goals, but he did also make five saves. San Antonio finished with nine shots on goal to only two from RGVFC.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Chuy Enriquez: Not only is he fun to watch on the ball, Chuy is now the club’s leading scorer this season with five goals. He tallied 63 touches, two key passes, and won two fouls on the night.
Pablo Aguilar: The playmaker for the Toros connected on three key passes, including an assist on the lone goal.
Wilmer “Andy” Cabrera Jr. on how the club can get results against two of the top USL sides:
“Against these two upcoming opponents, we have to play as a team and capitalize on our chances.”
Chuy Enriquez on what the club needs to do to break through offensively this week:
“Same as always. We get so many chances, the attack is there, but the finishing isn’t.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (4-10-12)
Unfortunately, it is not a surprise that the Toros lost last week. San Antonio is truly playing for their postseason lives and RGVFC is not. They are working hard to improve and would love to play spoiler, but there’s a different sense of urgency when the matches matter, that’s just the truth.
The club saw the debut of Romilio Hernandez against SAFC. A Timbers fourth round draft pick in 2017, the midfielder briefly spent time with Phoenix Rising FC.
Surprisingly, the Toros have done pretty well against the top three clubs in the Western Conference (2-1-1 vs. Monarchs SLC, Rising FC, and Orange County SC).
The Bad Guys: Phoenix Rising FC (15-6-5), Real Monarchs SLC (17-8-2)
After playing a San Antonio side trying to get into the playoffs, RGVFC will face a Rising FC side that can move into first place in the Western Conference with a win. The Arizona club has one of the elite players in the USL with Solomon Asante and plenty of top-level talent around him with Jason Johnson, Amadou Dia, Chris Cortez, and others.
The Toros will play the team Rising FC is trying to pass on the standings on Saturday, when they host Real Monarchs SLC. The regular season Western Conference champions last season, the Monarchs are loaded with talent. Chandler Hoffman is one of the most consistent scorers in the USL the last few years, Maikel Chang and Justin Portillo are elite passers, and Sebastian Velazquez could be the most skilled player in the entire league. They enter the match coming off of their first back-to-back losses of the season. The battle for first place out West is a heated one and directly involves RGVFC this week.
The Dirty Details
TONIGHT at Rising FC at 9:30 PM CDT
Saturday vs. Monarchs SLC at 8:30 PM CDT