All Toros, No Bull: RGVFC draw at SAFC, set for first-ever matchup vs. The Miami FC

Thanks to a late equalizer from Juan Carlos Azocar, RGVFC came away with a point in their match on the road vs. San Antonio FC. Next up, the Toros face a first-time opponent: The Miami FC.

RGVFC Toros (3-1-1)

For the second consecutive week, RGVFC trailed in the first half. Marcus Epps got behind the defense and beat Tyler Deric, who came off his line to try and close down the angle. The first 45 minutes saw each club dictate the action with Wilmer Cabrera’s side finding success with their high press and SAFC getting out and running in behind. Heading into the half, the hosts definitely were playing with the momentum at Toyota Field.

San Antonio’s lead would hold until late in the match. Not long after Emil Cuello was deservedly shown a straight red card for going in with his studs up, the Toros found their equalizer. Rodrigo Lopez’s cross found Adrian Diz Pe inside the box and the defender’s header was a perfect set-up for substitute Juan Carlos Azocar to bicycle-kick in the tying goal.

This was the most rotated starting XI for Cabrera, some by choice and others by necessity. With Elvis Amoh suspended for the match, Baboucarr Njie had some nice moments at forward, especially in the first half. Camden Riley and Adrian Vera, who started in place of Carter Manley and Grant Robinson at outside-back, were very active up and down the flank.

The Toros sit atop the Mountain Division with ten points from five matches, two points clear of San Antonio FC in second place. They will take on The Miami FC for the first time in club history next weekend in the Sunshine State before playing four of their next five at H-E-B Park.

Top Toros

Juan Carlos Azocar: Subbing on in the second half, he scored the highlight-reel equalizer in the final minutes. His goal is up for Goal of the Week in the USL Championship and he also won 6/7 duels and drew two fouls.

Adrian Diz Pe: His header assisted on Azocar’s goal and the central defender made eight clearances, four interceptions, and three tackles. His performance earned him a place on the USL Championship Team of the Week.

Tyler Deric: The veteran goalkeeper kept the Toros in the match on the road with nine saves, included some from very close range. He was quick to react and unafraid to throw his body into harm’s way.

The Miami FC (3-2-0)

Formerly in the NASL, The Miami FC are in their second season in the USL Championship. Last season, the club finished with 16 points and was third in Group H. After missing the playoffs by a wide margin, Miami overhauled the roster in the offseason with impressive veteran signings like Paco Craig, Ariel Martinez, Billy Forbes, and Speedy Williams.

They have wins over Loudoun United, New York Red Bulls 2, and Charlotte Independence, who they defeated over the weekend. In the 2-1 win vs. Charlotte, they held advantages in possession, shots, and shots on target, limiting the Independence to just three shots and one on frame.

On the season, the club has six goals (five different players have one plus an own goal). Miami averages 49% possession and are tied for second in the league with 16 yellow cards. With proven players in this league across the pitch, they will be a tough test for the Toros, who are winless in their last two matches and playing in South Florida for the first time.

Players to Watch

Speedy Williams: One of the top midfielders in the USL Championship, he’s been a gamechanger in the midfield for Miami. He has one goal, a club-high 270 passes, and leads the team with seven chances created.

Paco Craig: Like Williams, he was a crucial piece to the success of Louisville City FC in recent years. The veteran defender has 27 clearances and 13 aerial duels won, leading the club in both stats, and scored one goal.

Ariel Martinez: After playing for the club during its time in the NASL, Martinez is back and captaining the squad after a stint with FC Tulsa. Nicknamed the Cuban Messi, he’s a gifted playmaker and has one assist and six key passes already in 2021. He was named to the bench for the USLC Team of the Week.

The Deets

Sunday, June 6th, 6:30 PM Central Time

RGVFC Toros at The Miami FC

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.