All Toros, No Bull: RGVFC set to return after lengthy delay

After positive COVID-19 results and postponed matches, all signs point to the RGVFC Toros returning to action tonight vs. Austin Bold FC before playing OKC Energy FC on Saturday.

RGVFC Toros (0-9-3)

The last match that was played by RGVFC was a 3-2 loss to San Antonio FC back on September 5th. There will certainly be some rust for the RGVFC players without match action and training time during that long layoff. Will the rested legs for the Toros outweigh the lack of game reps in recent weeks? We will find out tonight.

After the delay, we could see the debut of Juan Carlos Azocar. The Venezuelan loanee’s eye for goal and aggressiveness going forward will be a welcome sight for the Toros, who have the third-fewest goals in the entire USL Championship.

For the Toros, these could be their final matches of the season as the two postponed matches are up in the air. That means they have two chances to avoid going winless on the season. Also, with Loudoun United ending their season, the Toros could secure enough points to move out of last place in the league.

If this is the final week of action for RGVFC, these matches will be the final stage for players to perform to either impress the Houston Dynamo organization or another club for a chance in 2021. Despite this being such a dismal season for the club as a whole, that doesn’t mean there aren’t talented players on the roster that can make an impact at this level. Per usual, I’ll be breaking down the roster top to bottom after the final ball is kicked this season for the Toros.

Finally, not tactical or soccer-specific…

I’m not a health expert, but in my personal opinion, it is irresponsible to have fans attend these matches. I understand there are protocols in place and the club wants fans at H-E-B Park for the experience and the monetary benefit. However, I’m not confident that the state leading the country in new cases, an area that has not handled COVID-19 particularly well, and a club that has had multiple consecutive matches postponed due to positive tests will be able to ensure everyone’s safety. I hope I’m wrong, but the risk FAR outweighs the reward here.

This Week’s Quote-A-Bull: Head Coach Gerson Echeverry

On how proud he is of his players dealing with these tough circumstances:

“Through this adversity, our guys are not taking for granted and value being able to represent this team and our community.”

Austin Bold FC (4-3-7)

While the stakes couldn’t be lower for RGVFC, they are sky-high for Austin. They enter today in the second playoff position of Group D, but they are even on points with FC Tulsa and they’ve played one more match. Tulsa will kick off against OKC Energy FC an hour before the Toros and Bold FC.

Austin has scored seven goals in its two matches vs. the Toros this season, both wins. They are tied for the sixth-most goals in the league and they can hurt you because there isn’t one primary player you can lock in on. Billy Forbes leads the way with six goals, but they have eight players with at least two. Former RGVFC striker Aldo Quintanilla scored his first goal with Austin in a blowout win last week vs. Sporting Kansas City II.¬†Xavier Baez is a key player for Bold FC with five assists to go with three goals. He leads the club in passes and is tied for the most chances created.

FiveThirtyEight.com has their chances of making the playoffs at 35%. If they want to see postseason action for the second time in their two-year existence, this match vs. RGVFC is a must-win.

OKC Energy FC (1-6-7)

The other club eliminated from the playoffs in Group D, Energy FC only have one more win than the Toros. But, they have picked up seven draws in the most draw-heavy group this season. Group D has 27 draws combined amongst the five teams while the second-most in the USL Championship is Group B with 16.

Over the weekend, Energy FC secured a point in a scoreless draw vs. Austin. That match was highlighted by a saved penalty kick from OKC’s Cody Laurendi, who was making his 100th appearance for the club. The veteran keeper finished the day with five saves and earned a USL-C Team of the Week nod.

RGVFC and OKC have played to two draws this season, both at Taft Stadium.

The Deets

Tonight, 8 PM CT, at H-E-B Park

Austin Bold FC at RGVFC

Saturday, 8 PM CT, at H-E-B Park

OKC Energy FC at RGVFC

Author

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.