On Saturday, RGVFC settled for a 1-1 draw vs. 10-man Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, extending their winless run to seven matches.
RGVFC Toros (8-8-7)
Going into halftime, Wilmer Cabrera & Co. must have felt pretty good about ending the Toros ending their winless streak. The match was level at zero and just before the half, Switchbacks FC’s best defender, Jimmy Ockford, was shown a red card. Unfortunately, not even playing with a man advantage for an entire half could get RGVFC out of this slide.
At times, Colorado Springs actually dictated the action going forward, despite playing with ten men. There were chances for Hadji Barry and former Toro Deshane Beckford, who looked to have a perfect opportunity to put his side ahead but didn’t pull the trigger.
Shortly after Beckford’s blown chance, the Toros took the lead on the road as new arrivals Emilio Ycaza and Frank Lopez combined for the go-ahead goal. Ycaza played a perfect pass through to the Cuban forward, who scored his first goal with the club since arriving on loan from OKC Energy FC. But, the lead wouldn’t hold to the final whistle as Matt Mahoney smashed home the equalizer in stoppage time to secure a point for each club.
From an RGVFC perspective, there has to be some serious frustration. You played 45+ minutes with an extra player and have to settle for a draw. You haven’t won since August 4th. And after primarily occupying one of the top two spots in the Mountain Division this season, you are now in fifth-place on the outside looking in on the playoff positions. This Saturday’s rematch vs. Switchbacks FC is a MASSIVE fixture at home for the Toros as they look to pull out of this tailspin.
Frank Lopez: In his second appearance with the Toros, Lopez provided the lone goal vs. Switchbacks FC. As he continues to get more minutes and acclimated to the system, he could be a massive boost as the club looks to turn things around.
Emilio Ycaza: A week after he drew a foul to earn a crucial penalty vs. Loudoun, Ycaza was coming up big again for his new club. He provided a lovely assist on Lopez’s goal and has some nice ability driving the ball forward. The 24-year-old created two chances overall and added four tackles.
James Murphy: Another solid performance from Murphy, who completed 86% of his passes, created two chances, and added a shot on target.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (10-7-6)
While the Toros will be disappointed in the draw, Colorado Springs have to feel pretty good about getting a point from the match. They played an entire half down a man and were able to avoid defeat. This also wasn’t a situation where the team with the man disadvantage just bunkered down and played for a draw. Brendan Burke’s squad pushed for a win throughout the second half and came up with the late equalizer.
Tonight, Switchbacks FC will host El Paso Locomotive FC before the rematch vs. the Toros on Saturday. The match vs. El Paso should mark the return of Michee Ngalina from his two-match suspension and Ockford will be out tonight after his red card vs. RGVFC. Colorado Springs still hold the second spot in the Mountain Division, two points clear of San Antonio FC. They also are now tied for first in the USL Championship in goals (50, tied with Phoenix Rising FC) and conversion rate (20%, tied with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC).
Players to Watch
Hadji Barry: While he was still dangerous getting forward, the RGVFC defense did well to limit Barry’s damage over the weekend (zero shots, two offsides, 2/8 duels). The USL-C Golden Boot frontrunner (21 goals) will look to get back to his goalscoring ways this week.
Michee Ngalina: Suspended for the last two matches for an incident/red card vs. New Mexico United, Ngalina was on fire in August. He scored in four of the club’s six matches last month and added two assists.
Deshane Beckford: Against his former team, the Jamaican winger brought a lot of action and aggressiveness to the attack, finishing with four shots, three crosses, and the hockey assist on the equalizer. But, there were some great chances that he couldn’t capitalize on and seemed to be pressing a little bit at times. We will see how he fares back at H-E-B Park on Saturday.
Saturday, 7:30 PM CT, H-E-B Park
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at RGVFC