Down two goals and a man at the half, RGVFC stormed back to force a 2-2 draw.
In one of the wildest South Texas Derby matches yet, RGVFC Toros and San Antonio FC played to a 2-2 draw. Jack Barmby and Cristian Parano scored in the first half for SAFC before a Carlos Small tally and an own goal leveled things at Toyota Field.
RGVFC Toros (6-11-7)
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this match will serve as some kind of springboard to a historic run down the stretch for the Toros. But, this match certainly will help lift the morale of the club down the stretch. With a two-goal deficit and down a player, it would have been easy to Gerson Echeverry’s side to fold and just accept their fate. Instead, the club came out with some tenacity and took a draw against the odds on the road.
Speaking of being down a man, this match included one of the strangest plays I’ve witnessed. Alejandro Fuenmayor clearly fouled Frank Lopez on the break for more than a few steps. While everyone waited for the whistle, the referee visibly signaled for play to go on, before he suddenly blew his whistle a few seconds later and held up a red card. After some confusion, it was Fuenmayor that was shown the door. The Toros finished with six total cards, partially a sign of it being a derby match and the other being that they held very little possession and needed to defend physically.
Andres Arcila was a victim of the red card, needing to be subbed off to Conor Donovan. But, he and fellow attacking player Kevin Rodriguez are both really impressing me lately. Chuy Enriquez also had an action-filled match with some long runs on the counter-attack.
Carlos Small: He came off the bench and pulled one goal back with a quality header and pressed the action on the San Antonio own goal.
Robert Coronado: Getting the start at left-back, the rookie won 13/15 duels, had five interceptions, and won five fouls while conceding none.
Eric Bird: On loan again from Houston and wearing the captain’s armband like the old days, Birdman had a great performance in the midfield. He registered nine tackles, three interceptions, blocked four shots, and had ten successful duels.
This Week’s Quote-A-Bull: Nico Corti
On the importance of the fight the Toros showed in the second half vs. San Antonio:
It showed a lot of character to claw our way back into that game especially with a man down on the road. We need to carry that attitude and mentality into next weekend and play a full 90 minutes that way.
El Paso Locomotive FC (8-7-8)
Let me start by saying it has been remarkable to see the support and response from the club, fans, and everyone in between after the unspeakable tragedy from a few weeks ago. Special hat tip to Sebastian Velasquez, who is not only an exceptional player but also spearheaded an effort to raise money for a soccer team that was directly impacted by the violence (You can still donate here). The general admission tickets for Saturday’s match at H-E-B Park are $5 with all proceeds going to the El Paso victims.
On the pitch, the club sits directly under the playoff line. They have one win in their last five matches, which came over the weekend against Tacoma Defiance. Their star striker Jerome Kiesewetter is working his way back from a leg injury and he was an unused substitute on Saturday. Locomotive FC’s second-leading scorer Edson Partida certainly caught everyone’s attention, including SportsCenter, with his remarkable goal vs. Tacoma. Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer has been solid in goal with nine clean sheets, second-best in the USL Championship.
Saturday, 7:30 PM Central Time, at H-E-B Park
RGVFC vs. El Paso Locomotive FC