The unbeaten start for the RGVFC Toros ended over the weekend as they lost 1-0 to El Paso Locomotive FC.
RGVFC Toros (3-1-0)
After winning their first three matches of the 2021 season, all at home, RGVFC suffered their first loss of the campaign at El Paso. The crucial moment of the match happened shortly after the opening whistle. Tyler Deric was too casual with getting the ball off his foot and his eventual kick was deflected into the net by Luis Solignac just seconds into the match.
Locomotive FC had triple the shots (15) of RGVFC (5) and out-possessed Wilmer Cabrera’s side. A contributor to the increased number of shots for El Paso was poor clearances from the Toros that gave the hosts chances to fire from just outside the box. Thankfully for RGVFC, they could only put two of those 15 shots on frame.
After such a good start with those three victories, the same explosiveness and crisp play just wasn’t there at El Paso. Wan Kuzain and Christian Sorto didn’t make their usual impact and the club couldn’t overcome one glaring mistake.
Also, Elvis Amoh received two yellow cards in the second half and will be suspended for this weekend’s match vs. San Antonio FC. That could see one of the wingers move into the number 9 role for this week or potentially Vicente Sanchez could be given a start with the expectation of being replaced in the second half.
Adrian Diz Pe: The central defender tallied seven clearances and four interceptions. He also added three tackles and a shot.
John Sanchez: He continues to showcase his pace and skill driving the ball forward. The Colombian winger forced a save in the first half with a strong effort, the only shot on goal for RGVFC in the entire match.
Rodrigo Lopez: Still wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Juan David Cabezas, the veteran midfielder’s work rate remains a key to the club’s success in the middle of the park. He completed 43 passes and also picked up three interceptions and one chance created.
San Antonio FC (2-1-1)
Following their loss to RGVFC on 5/16, SAFC got back on track with a 2-1 win vs. Birmingham Legion FC. Santiago Patino scored with 43 seconds on the clock and Jordan Perruzza, back on loan from Toronto FC, scored an insurance goal in the 81st minute. They were outshot and out-possessed by Birmingham on the day, but they were better defensively as they finished with more tackles, clearances, and a higher tackle success %. Matt Cardone came up with some massive saves and was also helped out by the frame of the goal on more than one occasion.
San Antonio continue to establish themselves as one of the most physical sides in the USL Championship, sitting 5th in the league for most fouls conceded and tied for second-most yellow cards. On the other end of the pitch, they are 5th in goals scored in this early stage of the season and are in the top ten for both shots and conversion rate. Also, SAFC are dead last in the league with 60% passing accuracy, which makes sense with their style of play that doesn’t place a high priority on possession and instead relies on knocking the ball forward.
Players to Watch
Santiago Patino: He has scored five goals in his first four matches with San Antonio FC, leading the USL Championship in goals at the moment. The Colombian forward also leads the club with nine shots this season.
Mathieu Deplagne: The defender was named to the USL Championship Team of the Week after registering the match-winning assist, four interceptions, and four clearances in the win over Legion FC.
Jordan Perruzza: Last season, Perruzza scored three goals in five regular season matches on loan from TFC. He picked up right where he left off with his goal vs. Birmingham and will be a weapon that RGVFC must watch out for this weekend.
Saturday, May 29, 7:30 PM Central
RGVFC at San Antonio FC