All Toros, No Bull: RGVFC set to return to action in El Paso

RGVFC returns to the pitch this Saturday against El Paso.

After what seems like an eternity, we are only a few days away from RGVFC returning to the pitch. The Toros are a part of Group D in the USL Championship’s revised season, which includes Austin Bold FC, FC Tulsa, OKC Energy FC, and San Antonio FC. But, their first match back will take place outside the group against El Paso Locomotive FC of Group C.

RGVFC Toros (0-1-0)

In case you forgot, the Toros got blown out in their only match before the league went on hiatus. In their home and season opener, RGVFC lost to LA Galaxy II, 5-1. A young, energetic Los Dos side exploited the Toros on the counter and with runs in behind, while also scoring a free kick to cap things off. The backline of Kyle Adams, Robert Castellanos, Robert Coronado, and Victor Garza found themselves out of position or a step slow far too often vs. Los Dos.

Paul Blanchette had a rough debut in goal for RGVFC, but he can’t be blamed for the majority of those goals as he was left exposed by the defense.

On the other end of the pitch, the young players looked pretty solid in the attack. RGVFC rookies Garrett McLaughlin and Luka Prpa played well with the latter scoring a consolation goal for the Toros and created four chances for his teammates.

A tough break for the Toros will be the MLS Is Back tournament. With the Houston Dynamo needing as much depth as they can have in their bubble in Orlando, RGVFC won’t benefit from guys like Kyle Adams, Michael Salazar, or other fringe rotation guys that would be loaned down. Nico Lemoine was signed from RGV to Houston during the hiatus, too. For the supporters of the club that are less than thrilled when Dynamo players get loaned down for random matches, you will get your wish of that not happening for at least this season.

To the trophy-focused readers, RGVFC will not get the chance to win the 2020 Copa Tejas because there won’t be one. With El Paso playing in a different group and an unbalanced schedule, the Copa Tejas supporters decided to not award one this season and return in 2021.

This Week’s Quote-A-Bull: Robert Coronado

“Going back to the basics of defending is always important. It was important to look back at our mistakes & break down film to find solutions to our problems. Our goal now is to minimize our mistakes & quickly find ways to correct them while on the field! We’ve had plenty of time to regroup & prepare for our first match!”

El Paso Locomotive FC (0-0-1)

They played their only match of the season so far on the road vs. Orange County SC. That match ended up as a scoreless draw. El Paso went into Irvine and held the edge in possession and finished with eight shots, three on target.

Last season, the star for Locomotive FC was goalkeeper Logan Ketterer, who made five saves in the season opener. The club was tied for sixth-fewest goals conceded in 2019 and had the second-most passes in the league. In their inaugural season, they took the eventual champions, Real Monarchs SLC, to added extra time of the Western Conference Final. The first meeting between these two sides last season finished as a 2-2 draw and RGVFC won the second matchup, 1-0, by way of an Eric Bird goal.

They should be expected to continue holding onto the ball and playing tight on the backline.

The Particulars

RGVFC at El Paso Locomotive FC

Saturday, 7/11, at 8:30 PM CT

Note: El Paso elected to play their first two matches of the restart without fans.

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.