All Toros, No Bull: Still winless, the Toros look to shock San Antonio FC

RGVFC fell to Austin Bold FC over the weekend at H-E-B Park, 3-2. Bold FC held a 3-0 lead before the Toros scored twice in the second half to make things interesting. Juan Carlos Obregon Jr. and Jonathan Jimenez scored the goals for the hosts. Next up, the South Texas Derby on Friday against unbeaten San Antonio FC.

RGVFC Toros (0-6-3)

Saturday’s loss to Austin marked the first time that the Toros scored multiple goals in one match. Silver lining, right? They also didn’t mail it in while they were down 3-0 at home, which is another positive to take from the defeat.

But, nonetheless, it was still another loss for RGVFC. They find themselves 34th out of 35 clubs on this week’s USL Championship Power Rankings, only ahead of Portland Timbers 2, who have lost every single match. Carter Manley, one of the more consistent performers for the Toros this year, had a mixed bag in this one. On the first Austin goal, he was jogging back and allowed Billy Forbes to be open to receive the redirected ball and fire a strike past Paul Blanchette. On the third goal, he was beaten to the end-line and his man provided the assist that proved to be the game-winner. He also went 1/9 on crosses, but the one he connected on was an assist on Jonathan Jimenez’s goal and Manley also completed 88% of his passes on the day.

Blanchette conceded three goals following his first clean sheet on the season and each goal was different, with no massive blunders on his part. The first goal would’ve been tough to stop, but he didn’t really give himself a chance without a full dive. Unfortunately, the second goal took a deflection off of Robert Castellanos and the third goal, he elected to try and cut out the ball across goal rather than try and peel back to the far post. He probably made the right call there, but if you’re going to make the decision to play the pass, you have to get a hand on it.

Kyle Sanchez Edwards was a spark off the bench. He came in and ran at defenders and brought some energy to the attack. With Garrett McLaughlin continuing to struggle (one shot in 90+ minutes), maybe the rookie out of UTRGV has earned a start against San Antonio. Luka Prpa played this match as the number ten and completed all 14 passes, but he wasn’t able to create a single chance.

This week, the Toros face off with their chief rival, who will be expected to pick up another three points. RGVFC are winless in their last three matches vs. San Antonio, last getting a victory vs. SAFC back in May 2019.

The backline needs to be locked in for 90+ minutes on Friday. Not only do they need to prevent the dangerous dribbling of players like Cristian Parano and Jose Gallegos, but they need to be confident and crisp in their passing and on the ball to avoid being dispossessed by San Antonio’s press.

Gerson Echeverry will be back on the touchline for the club after serving a one-match ban for violating the league’s Return to Play protocol.

Top Toros

JC Obregon, Jr.: Finally breaking through, JC did well to head home the opening goal for RGVFC. This was the best outing from the Honduran striker as he looked confident on the ball and firing shots. He finished with three total shots and drew four fouls.

Robert Coronado: He came off the bench and quickly transformed the tactics for the Toros. More of an attacking threat than Kyle Adams, Coronado fired in six crosses, assisting on JC’s goal, and was not afraid of getting forward.

Isidro Martinez: I thought this was Chelo’s best performance of 2020 thus far. He completed 62 passes and four crosses (with 11 attempted) and he helped win the ball back with three interceptions.

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

On pulling two goals back after trailing 3-0:

“It shows the hunger and resilience we have of never giving up! We’ve got to keep believing in ourselves and continue to fight til the end!”

San Antonio FC (6-0-3)

SAFC remain undefeated after defeating FC Tulsa, despite violating the rule on substitution windows, by a 2-0 scoreline on Saturday. Luis Solignac converted a penalty and Ignacio Bailone added an insurance goal after Tulsa went down to ten men. The match has been the talk of the USL Championship this week as San Antonio made substitutions outside of the allotted halftime plus three windows. The league ruled that they will not be punished and that

Ranked #3 in the Power Rankings, SAFC are led by two Argentines: Solignac and Cristian Parano. Parano is following up his breakout 2019 season with an even better 2020. If you want to stop San Antonio FC, he needs to be at the top of your list. Defender Mitchell Taintor was named to the USL Championship Team of the Week for his performance over the last two matches.

On another note,  San Antonio released former RGVFC winger Chuy Enriquez last week after he joined the club following two years with the Toros. In recent matches, he was not even making the matchday squad and will now have the chance to find a new club.

The Deets

Friday, 7 PM CT kickoff at from H-E-B Park

San Antonio FC at RGVFC

Live on ESPN+/ESPN Deportes

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.