All Toros, No Bull: A historically bad opener for RGVFC

In their season opener, RGVFC suffered a 5-1 defeat to Los Dos at H-E-B Park.

The first match of 2020 certainly did not go as planned for the RGVFC Toros. Over the weekend, LA Galaxy II handed the Toros a 5-1 loss at H-E-B Park.

RGVFC Toros (0-1-0)

Let’s take a look at how a match that started with such promise turned into such a disaster. The attack came out of the gates blazing with early chances for rookies Luka Prpa and Garrett McLaughlin, as well as Christian Lucatero and Robert Coronado. Unfortunately, those early opportunities ended wide of the goal, over the crossbar, off the post, or elsewhere, but they never found the net. On the other end, nearly every single shot that LA Galaxy II put on target got past RGVFC keeper Paul Blanchette. Luka Prpa did pull a goal back before Los Dos scored again to extend the lead back to four goals.

What went wrong for RGVFC? The short answer is quite a bit, on both sides of the pitch. In the attack, you need to be more clinical in front of goal. 15 shots with eight going on target can’t end with only one goal. Maybe, they could have benefitted from a Dynamo striker that was officially loaned down to the club but didn’t appear in the matchday squad? Unfortunately, a tweet may or may not have impacted that appearance. Instead, there were a lot of young players in the attack with some making their professional debuts. A silver lining is that they should get more comfortable and confident in their finishing.  Youth and inexperience is not an excuse at the other end. A backline of Victor Garza, Kyle Adams, Robert Castellanos, and Robert Coronado was shredded by Los Dos, especially on the break. Garza and Coronado ended up too far forward on the wing and that allowed players to get in behind them. Castellanos and Adams weren’t able to cut off enough space and they got twisted and turned around by the young, energetic attack of Galaxy II. Poor giveaways also contributed to the cause and Blanchette had just about as bad of a debut as you can have with the former New York Cosmos keeper only making one save.

Moving forward, I like the fluidity of the attack for RGVFC. The versatility will make them tough to stop and the rookies were impressive. The defense should tighten up, especially once Emile Legault can take over for Victor Garza at right-back, with the latter playing out of position.

Top Toros

Luka Prpa: The rookie out of Marquette scored the consolation goal for the Toros. He also completed 90% of his passes and created four chances for his teammates.

Garrett McLaughlin: Houston Dynamo’s 1st round pick was impressive in his movement and work rate during his professional debut. He tallied four shots and was constantly trying to make runs in behind the Los Dos defense.

Juan Carlos Obregon Jr.: He came off the bench and provided the assist on Prpa’s goal, not long after he almost immediately scored as a substitute.

This Week’s RGVFC Quote-A-Bull: Robert Castellanos

On moving forward against San Diego:

“We just have to make sure we put away our chances that they give to us early on, so we can dictate the rest of the game.”

San Diego Loyal SC (0-0-1)

Over the weekend, San Diego Loyal SC officially kicked off their inaugural season with a 1-1 draw vs. Las Vegas Lights FC in front of a sellout crowd. Despite coming away with a point at home, there was definitely some rust and they played as if they were the away side for most of the match, finishing with only three shots compared to 21 for Las Vegas.

2019 Defender of the Year Joe Greenspan had to leave with an injury and that would be a major loss if he’s out this week. Not only is he a talented player, but Loyal SC utilizes a three-man backline and that leaves very little margin of error in the defense. Irvin Parra and Qudus Lawal should continue to develop into one of the best striking tandems in the league. Raul Mendiola and Carlos Alvarez can provide them service. Landon Donovan’s side will be looking to defeat RGVFC for their first win in club history.

The Particulars

Saturday, 3/14, at 9 PM Central Time

RGVFC at San Diego Loyal SC

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.