Coming off a 4-1 loss to Austin Bold FC, RGVFC bounced back with a point on the road as things finished scoreless between the Toros and OKC Energy FC over the weekend. Next up? A rematch vs. Bold FC.
RGVFC Toros (0-5-3)
Last weekend’s result vs. OKC Energy FC was better than a loss and came with the first clean sheet of the season. The Toros were able to lock in defensively and absorb pressure from the Energy attack. When there was room in the attack, Paul Blanchette was able to turn away shots in his return to the lineup. Despite only having 37% possession, Gerson Echeverry’s side was able to finish even with OKC in shots on goal.
But, it was yet another match for the Toros that saw them come away with a sub-par performance in front of goal and without a win. The worst start in the club’s history continues as they have now gone their first eight matches without a win. The latest it took in previous years for a first win was the sixth match, which happened in both 2018 & 2019 under Echeverry.
RGVFC are one of four clubs in the USL Championship that remain winless and while 2020 is a year unlike any other for soccer and the world, let’s compare some of the numbers of past seasons for the South Texas side through eight matches:
If you don’t follow the graphs above, they have the fewest in the two good categories and the most in the worst category. That’s not to say there isn’t talent on this team because there is. But, there aren’t enough proven commodities, especially in the attack, for the club to put together a full 90 minutes of great soccer.
One interesting decision to watch will be how Gerson lines up the defense. Robert Coronado will be back from his one-game ban and there are three starting-quality center-backs in Kyle Adams, Erik McCue, and Robert Castellanos. On the right side, Carter Manley has been solid and should keep that spot. Will Coronado take his spot back from Adams or will one of the Dynamo loanees not start?
Kyle Adams: He filled in well at left-back for the suspended Robert Coronado. The Dynamo loanee had a couple of interceptions and also had the best shot of the day, a strike from well outside the box that forced a save.
Paul Blanchette: After a match off vs. Austin Bold FC, Blanchette returned to the lineup and picked up his first clean sheet of the season. He made four saves on the day, including a Save of the Week candidate.
Deshane Beckford: The Jamaican winger was quality from box-to-box essentially. He used his pace and skill on the ball to drive forward and won three fouls. Unfortunately, he couldn’t figure out the final ball and wasted some of the chances that he created for himself.
This Week’s Quote-A-Bull: Kyle Adams
On how the defense can keep up the momentum going from last week’s clean sheet:
“We have to stay switched on for 90 minutes again and do our defensive jobs. If we do that, we give ourselves a chance to win.”
Austin Bold FC (2-2-1)
Since they defeated the Toros back on August 8th, Bold FC played to a 1-1 draw vs. San Antonio FC. Xavier Baez scored an absolute blast to put Austin up in the first half before Jose Gallegos equalized late for SAFC. Baez was a star in the match for Austin as he completed 86% of his passes, finished with two total shots on frame, and added in some quality defense work from his spot on the left wing.
Billy Forbes and Ismaila Jome, who both scored against RGVFC in their 4-1 win, are tied for a club-best two goals. Captain Jermaine Taylor, who made over 100 appearances for the Houston Dynamo, leads the Bold backline. He finds himself in the top three players on the team in clearances, interceptions, and duels won, while also completing 84% of his passes. Diego Restrepo hasn’t been tested a ton behind that defense and will be looking for his second clean sheet on the year.
Bold FC plays at FC Tulsa tonight before they travel down to McAllen for Saturday’s matchup. This is their first meeting of the season against Tulsa.
Saturday, 8/22, at 8 PM CT
Austin Bold FC at RGVFC