On Sunday, RGVFC went behind 2-0 within the first 20 minutes of the match vs. The Miami FC. But, the Toros got a pair of goals from Elvis Amoh to level things up before an own goal and a third tally from Amoh secured the club road victory #1 of 2021.
RGVFC Toros (4-1-1)
Sunday’s match got off to a rough start for the Toros after an olimpico and an own goal put them in a two-goal hole by the 20th minute. But, despite Miami pushing for a third goal, they were able to get to the half just trailing by two. A corner kick in first-half stoppage time saw an excellent header from Amoh ring off the crossbar. Miami wouldn’t be that fortunate in the second half…
RGVFC came out of the locker room with some urgency and were quickly rewarded. In the 51st minute, another corner delivery from James Murphy found Amoh’s head. This time, it ended up in the back of the net, making it 2-1.
The Toros also benefitted from a 56th-minute red card to Miami’s Bolu Akinyode, who appeared to slap Amoh after a challenge. Ten minutes later, the RGVFC striker leveled things up. Then, a cross from Adrian Vera was deflected by two different Miami defenders and ended up as an own goal by Paco Craig to put the visitors ahead.
In stoppage time, Amoh completed the hat trick and secured a huge three points for the Toros.
Outside of coming back from a multi-goal deficit on the road, the result for the Toros was even more impressive due to not having their full assortment of players. Wilmer Cabrera had to make some adjustments with usual starters Grant Robinson and Erik Pimentel unavailable on the back line. English defender Louis Ramsay made his debut, starting at right-back, while Carter Manley shifted into central defense and Adrian Vera getting the nod at left-back. Cabrera and Co. also had to deal with an early exit from Juan Carlos Azocar, who was replaced by John Henry Sanchez in the 7th minute. The club is still awaiting the return of Juan David Cabezas, too.
With the win, RGVFC reside alone at the top of the Mountain Division, three points clear of New Mexico United. The Toros have 13 points from their first six matches and carry a +4 goal differential. That’s an impressive turnaround given that in 2020 the club had just two points after six matches played and the goal differential was -7.
Elvis Amoh: How do you make up for missing the last match due to a red card suspension? By scoring a hat trick on five shots and being named USL Championship Player of the Week in your return. When RGVFC needed a spark, their striker was able to step up in a big way.
James Murphy: He finished with four chances created, including some quality corner kick deliveries, one of which was an assist on the opening goal. The midfielder added two tackles and two clearances.
Adrian Diz Pe: Looking to stabilize the backline with some players sliding into the lineup around him, Diz Pe stepped up with five clearances, won 7/10 duels, and completed 59 passes.
Honorable Mention to Rodrigo Lopez, who made his 100th appearance in the USL Championship. Per usual, he turned in a solid performance with 87% passing accuracy, three shots, and three tackles.
Real Monarchs SLC (0-3-2)
The only winless club left in the Western Conference, Real Monarchs SLC are off to a tough start in 2021, especially on the offensive end. Currently, the Real Salt Lake affiliate is tied for fewest goals scored in the USL Championship (three in five matches) and they carry the worst conversion rate in the league at 7%. They’ve been shutout in three of their five matches with their only goals coming in their two draws. In their last match, former RGVFC midfielder Isidro Martinez scored the lone goal for New Mexico United in a 1-0 win as his free kick didn’t find a teammate and instead ended up in the back of the net.
These early struggles mirror a tough 2020 campaign for Monarchs SLC. After winning the USL Championship Final in 2019, the club dealt with some roster turnover and a lack of offensive firepower last season. They finished the year with the third-fewest goals, the fourth-fewest shots, and tied for third-worst conversion rate.
Real Monarchs SLC and RGVFC have faced off eight times in their history with the Utah club holding a slight edge (four wins, three losses, one draw). Only one of those wins for Monarchs SLC came in South Texas (a 2-1 result in 2017).
Players to Watch
Kyle Adams: The former RGVFC captain leads Real Monarchs in clearances, blocks, and passes. He is also tied for a club-high in interceptions.
Bode Davis: After signing a Homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake in the offseason, the 19-year-old forward is the only player with both a goal and an assist thus far for Monarchs SLC. His goal was the equalizer in a 2-2 draw vs. San Antonio FC in the season opener.
Malik Johnson: Still only 23 years old, Johnson brings experience from his time with Toronto FC, Toronto FC II, and Tampa Bay Rowdies. He’s been a spark plug for the club with his playmaking and dribbling ability. He has one assist, nine chances created, and 16 fouls won in five starts.
Saturday, 6/12, at 7 PM Central
Real Monarchs SLC at RGVFC