Following two consecutive losses at home, RGVFC bounced back with a 3-2 win over El Paso Locomotive FC. The Toros got goals from Carter Manley, Wan Kuzain, and Rodrigo Lopez while El Paso’s goalscorers were Jose Aguinaga and Luis Solignac.
RGVFC Toros (6-3-2)
The Toros were able to open the scoring due to a massive lapse from the El Paso defense that left Manley (and a few other RGVFC players) unmarked directly in front of the goal. But, they would concede the equalizer from a set piece. It would’ve been tough for Tyler Deric to stop because of a solid deflection, but the club needs to make sure they don’t make a habit of giving up goals from dead-ball situations.
Kuzain got into a great area to score on the rebound from a blocked Rodrigo Lopez shot for the second goal and Juan Carlos Azocar made a heroic solo run nearly the entire length of the pitch to set up Lopez for the final goal.
Three goals from the Toros without utilizing a true striker is a solid accomplishment, especially against an elite defensive side like El Paso. That style of play allows the club to use some versatility and unpredictability in the attack. But, it’s a tough formula to rely upon every match as there are times you simply need a target forward to do what they do best and find the net.
On the opposite end, for the first time since June 6th, RGVFC didn’t concede a goal from every shot on target as Deric made one save on the three attempts on frame. The five-man backline did well again to limit the shots that the former Houston Dynamo goalkeeper faced.
In Sunday’s Copa Independencia, Liga MX’s Rayados defeated the Toros, 5-1, in a friendly that saw Wilmer Cabrera mix in some of the players outside the usual rotation.
Rodrigo Lopez: Earning a well-deserved place on the USL Championship Team of the Week, he assisted on Manley’s opening goal, his blocked shot was scored on the rebound by Kuzain on the second goal, and he scored the match-winner in the second half. On the night, he finished with four chances created and completed 86.7% of his passes.
Juan Carlos Azocar: His play on the final goal was one of the better individual efforts you will see this season. Picking up the ball deep in his zone, he used speed and skill to get around defenders, absorbed a big foul and got up and continued his run, then played a perfect ball to Lopez. That’s the kind of impact he can make in this Toros’ attack.
Juan David Cabezas: The captain helped RGVFC control the midfield at H-E-B Park with 90.7% passing accuracy, six tackles, and five interceptions.
Austin Bold FC (4-3-3)
Bold FC have only lost once in their last six matches (6/22 vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC), landing them directly above of the cutoff line for the playoff positions in the Mountain Division. Their success comes largely from their dominance on the defensive end. They are tied for the lead in the USL Championship with five clean sheets and have only allowed nine goals in ten matches. Surprisingly, Bold FC have been better on the road than at home this season with a 1-2-0 record at Bold Stadium and 3-1-3 away from home. Four of their five clean sheets have come on the road.
Last time out, Austin picked up three points on the road vs. San Antonio FC. Alassane Ates Diouf scored in the 2nd minute and the defense stood tall in a 1-0 victory. While they will be pleased with the result, Sean “Ugo” Okoli picked up a red card and the club’s leading scorer for their match tonight vs. RGVFC. In the previous meeting between the clubs, Okoli came off the bench to score the equalizer before Fabien Garcia buried a free kick in stoppage time to steal all three points for Bold FC.
Players to Watch
Fabien Garcia: After scoring his first goal of the season vs. RGVFC, Garcia added another in the next match vs. Colorado Springs. The French defender also leads the club in passes, blocks, and interceptions.
Owayne Omar Gordon: No matter what club he’s playing for in the USL Championship, Gordon is a difference-maker (explained partially here by @USLTactics on Twitter). He has two assists and nine chances created, plus his confidence, speed, and skill on the ball can lead to a match-changing run at any moment.
Alassane Ates Diouf: He was named to the USL Championship Team of the Week after scoring the lone goal vs. SAFC. He’s created eight chances and has 61 duels won this season.
Tonight, 8 PM CDT, Bold Stadium
RGVFC at Austin Bold FC