The 2020 USL Championship season resumes today and the Dynamo’s hybrid affiliate club RGVFC Toros get back in action tonight as they take on El Paso Locomotive FC. You can watch tonight’s match on ESPN+ with kick off scheduled for 8:30 PM CT.
With Tab Ramos now the head coach of the Houston Dynamo, youth development looks to be a key component for the club moving forward. Before joining the Dynamo Ramos was head coach of the United States Under-20 National Team since 2011 and U.S. Soccer’s Youth Technical Director since 2013. While the academy is big for youth development, RGVFC also will play a key role. Before players get to the Dynamo and MLS they will be able to get valuable experience and minutes with the Toros in USL Championship.
Former Dynamo academy player Christian Lucatero has returned to the Dynamo organization, after a stint in Mexico with Necaxa, and is now playing for RGVFC. Dynamo Superdraft picks Garrett McLaughlin, Luka Prpa, Kyle Edwards, and Andrew Samuels are currently on the Toros roster as well, waiting for a chance to break in to the first team. The Toros roster also includes local products Isidro Martinez (Brownsville) and Victor Garza (McAllen), along with players drafted recently by other MLS clubs, midfielder Timo Mehlich (Seattle Sounders, 2020) and Kevin Rodriguez (Minnesota United, 2019).
Academy product Nico Lemoine was recently signed by the Dynamo from RGVFC. He scored 1 goals in 19 appearances for the Toros last season and will now look to break through with the Dynamo. This pipeline from academy, to USL, to MLS is key in providing the first team with young, cost-effective talent. The Dynamo have never been a team to spend a lot of money on players, so having talented youngsters on smaller contracts will allow the team to stockpile talent.
If you’re looking to see the future of the Dynamo, look no further than the valley. With the Dynamo’s affiliation, they are able to sign players from RGVFC when needed. We have seen a number of Toros recently feature for Houston in US Open Cup matches. These short-term moves can be beneficial but it’s the players who will break through and become first-team fixtures that will be the building blocks of the Dynamo’s future.
Tonight’s game in El Paso, featuring an 11 hour bus ride one way, is the first match back for the Toros since the COVID-19 pandemic, but you will be able to catch the team and its Dynamo prospects throughout the summer on ESPN+. USL Championship teams were put in to groups to allow for regional match ups with less travel involed. RGVFC were put in to Group D alongside San Antonio FC, Austin Bold FC, FC Tulsa and OKC Energy FC. Here is the team’s schedule: