All Toros, No Bull: Three straight wins to start the season for RGVFC

The first South Texas Derby of 2021 went in favor of RGVFC as they picked up their third consecutive win to kick off the season.

RGVFC Toros (3-0-0)

The 2021 Toros are 3-0 to start the season and they look a lot like…well…the 2016 Toros. On Sunday, Wilmer Cabrera’s club finished with 71% of possession, a stat line you would’ve expected to see during the club’s inaugural season also under Cabrera’s guidance. RGVFC limited San Antonio FC to just two shots on target and 46% passing accuracy. Possession and defensive responsibility were calling cards throughout the 2016 campaign, the best season in club history.

The starting backline from Sunday’s victory is likely going to be the first-choice group going forward. Adrian Diz Pe and Erik Pimentel are a formidable duo in central defense with Carter Manley and Grant Robinson flanking them.

Wan Kuzain and Christian Sorto picked up their first goals of the season. They were joined in the starting lineup by John Sanchez as the Colombian provided a spark in the attack. Unlike in recent seasons, there is talented depth all over the pitch for RGVFC.

Next up, the Toros will hit the road for their first away match of the season.

Top Toros

Wan Kuzain: The gifted, young midfielder scored the opening goal, won 7/9 duels, and won three fouls vs. San Antonio. His performance earned him a place on the bench for the USL Championship Team of the Week.

Adrian Diz Pe: Getting his first start of 2021 on the RGVFC backline, he made three interceptions, four clearances, and completed 51 passes.

Christian Sorto: Always lively on the wing, Sorto finally broke through with his first goal of the season. He tallied five total shots on the night.

El Paso Locomotive FC (0-0-1)

Back on May 8th, El Paso Locomotive FC opened their season with a 1-1 draw vs. New Mexico United. They have been out of action since that match, but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been any big news for the third-year club in the meantime. Star goalkeeper Logan Ketterer left the club on loan to Portland Timbers FC and earned MLS Team of the Week honors in his debut.

Last season, Locomotive FC made the Western Conference Final and were defeated in a penalty shootout by Phoenix Rising FC. During the regular season slate, El Paso led the entire USL Championship in passes and finished second in the clean sheets. They picked up a 1-0 win over RGVFC in their lone meeting of 2020 by way of a Dylan Mares’ goal.

Players to Watch

Leandro Carrijo: A well-traveled, veteran striker, Carrijo came off the bench to score the lone goal for El Paso so far this season.

Marco Canales: With the sudden departure of Logan Ketterer on loan, there will be big boots to fill in goal for El Paso. The 19-year-old Canales served as Ketterer’s backup vs. New Mexico and should be expected to step into starting role. Javier Beker is the other option at goalkeeper.

Dylan Mares: He led the club in goals and assists last season with five in each category. In the season-opening draw, he tallied three shots, one key pass, and completed 83% of his passes.

The Deets

Saturday, 8:30 PM Central, at Southwest University Park 

RGVFC at El Paso Locomotive 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.