Tough times in Tulsa
Playing a surprisingly explosive Tulsa Roughnecks FC, RGVFC continued their winless beginning to the season, losing 2-1 on the road last Friday.
The first major moment of the match was a penalty being awarded in the 18th minute. Houston Dynamo loanee Andrew Samuels chopped down a Tulsa attacking player in the area and Rodrigo da Costa converted a powerful penalty kick to put the hosts up 1-0.
RGVFC had a great chance to level things in the 30th minute. Isidro Martinez came away with an interception of the Tulsa goalkeeper and he put the ball on a platter for the onrushing Carlos Small. The striker could have simply passed the ball into the net, but he blasted the ball well wide.
Rather than entering the break down one, or potentially level, a late blast in the first half put Tulsa up two. Fabian Bastidas buried a shot from distance to beat Michael Nelson as the first half entered stoppage time.
Neither club had any big chances early in the second half until the 54th minute. A free kick saw a close range chance for Tulsa, but Nelson made the save.
Chuy Enriquez nearly set up substitute Michael Salazar after the hour mark, but Salazar couldn’t finish from a tough angle.
The Toros pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute when a rookie-to-rookie connection had Isidro finding substitute Nico Lemoine in the area for a headed goal.
Unfortunately, despite pressing the action forward, RGVFC could not find an equalizer. The clubs finished with nearly identical possession, passing accuracy, shots, and shots on target. This was another quality performance from the Toros, but also another one without a victory.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Isidro Martinez: The rookie created four chances, including RGVFC’s only assist. He had nine long passes and looked to unlock the defense from his midfield position.
Nico Lemoine: He scored the lone goal for the Toros. His header gave the visitors a fighting chance late in the match. He finished with three shots on the day.
Nico Lemoine (Rio Grande Valley) with a Goal vs. Tulsa Roughnecks, 03/29/2019 pic.twitter.com/6uoQhVo7db— RGVFC (@RGVFC) March 30, 2019
Chuy Enriquez: When the opposing team’s announcers give you a shoutout for not deserving to lose, you played well. The electric winger connected on 89% of his 29 passes and created three chances.
Nico Corti on Superhero Night at H-E-B Park:
“Yeah, I’m excited for Superhero Night. I’m excited to see any costumes fans may break out. My favorite superhero is Batman.”
On the importance of getting a win:
“It’s important for us to get the win this weekend for the Stampede and all the Toros fans that support us every week.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (0-3-1)
My main takeaway so far this season, especially in the Tulsa match, is that the Toros need production from their strikers. Whether it’s been Carlos Small, Wilmer Cabrera Jr., Michael Salazar, or someone else, this club will not be able to score consistently with nothing from their target man.
It was a big match vs. Tulsa for a trio of RGVFC rookies. Nico Lemoine scored the goal, assisted by fellow rookie Isidro Martinez. Robert Coronado was really impressive again on the back line. He had four crucial tackles. Opposite him, Andrew Samuels struggled with his crossing (0/5) and had a reckless tackle in the area for the first half penalty.
Samuels was joined on loan by goalkeeper Michael Nelson, Juan David Cabezas, and Erik McCue. Nelson didn’t have much chance to stop either Tulsa goal, Cabezas played the first half to try and work back to match fitness, and McCue was solid in defense, tallying four interceptions.
The Bad Guys: New Mexico United (2-0-3)
Since scoring once in their opener, NMU have multiple goals in every match. Former Bethlehem Steel man Santi Moar is leading the way with four goals in the five matches. Kevaughn Frater has three goals as well.
In their last match, New Mexico conceded an early goal vs. Tacoma Defiance before scoring twice to secure an away win.
Former Toro Manny Padilla has played in four of the club’s five matches, including three starts after signing late in the offseason. He has three key passes on the season, including an assist.
Your Weekly Dose of Eloise
The Dirty Details
Saturday, April 6th, at 7:30 PM Central
RGVFC vs. New Mexico United at H-E-B Park