Tough loss in Tacoma
In the first match of the 2019 USL Championship season, RGVFC dropped a 1-0 result on the road vs. Tacoma Defiance, formerly Seattle Sounders FC 2.
The Toros outshot Defiance (17-12), but they put less shots on frame (5-2). Unfortunately, Wilmer Cabrera Jr. was responsible for some of those off-target shots. He had two great chances in the first half that he was not able to convert.
After the visitors pushed the action in the first half, the hosts took the lead in the second frame. A headed cross into the box led to a header off the post and a follow up being blasted home from close range past Ben Willis. The 49th-minute goal was scored by 17-year-old Alec Diaz.
Andres Arcila had a chance to level things, but his first touch effort sailed over the bar.
Playing one of the clubs that is expected to be well-below average, it is a frustrating result for Gerson Echeverry and the Toros. But, it was the opening match and it was on the road in poor weather conditions. Either way, the club will look to move on quickly from the loss.
Camilo Monroy: With no Chuy Enriquez, Monroy was a star for the Toros. He created four total chances and had three shots. All night, he blazed down the left flank, slicing into the box and centering the ball.
Isidro Martinez: The rookie out of UTRGV played well in the midfield. Martinez connected on 76% of his 42 passes, including nine long passes, and delivered some quality corner kicks.
Robert Coronado: Playing left back, Coronado had a solid all-around match. He finished with five tackles, five interceptions, four clearances, and hit on 80% of his 40 passes.
Kyle Adams on wearing the captain’s armband:
“I don’t believe you need the armband to be a leader on the team, but it is an honor and very motivating to be a good role model for the team.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (0-1-0)
While the result vs. Tacoma was disappointing, the club was playing without 2018 stalwarts Nico Corti, Conor Donovan, and Chuy Enriquez. None of those players were even in the squad.
There were definitely some positives in the loss. As mentioned above, Monroy, Martinez, and Coronado were thoroughly impressive. Outside of the goal allowed, rookie goalkeeper Ben Willis looked confident in goal, making four saves.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Wilmer Jr., Carlos Small, and Maalique Foster have to be better in front of goal. If they are expected to be key players in the attack, they need to be more clinical when given chances.
The attack looked more potent, but the result feels like a 2018 match. A closely contested match that the Toros could have earned three points in but had to settle for less. Next up, the club returns to South Texas for the home opener.
The Bad Guys: Fresno FC (0-0-1)
In their second season, Fresno FC played to a draw vs. expansion side New Mexico United. Despite having the edge on shots, shots on goal, and passing accuracy, Fresno could not come away with the road victory. They conceded in the first half to Devon Sandoval before former MLS winger, Jackson, leveled things just after the half.
Fresno brings Juan Pablo Caffa back for a second season. The midfielder is one of the elite distributors in the USL and completed 81% of his 65 passes vs. NMU.
Goblet of Fire? No, Cup of Texas!
Beginning this season, the four USL Championship clubs located in Texas will battle for the Copa Tejas. Created by supporters of the clubs, the trophy will be played for by Austin Bold FC, El Paso Locomotive FC, San Antonio FC, and of course, RGVFC.