Timo Mehlich will bring Bundesliga Academy experience and a well-rounded skillset the Toros’ midfield in 2020.
A strong youth pedigree. Quality size and strength. Long-distance shooting and a non-stop motor. If you were creating a box-to-box midfielder in a lab, you may end up with something strongly resembling RGVFC rookie Timo Mehlich.
Mehlich hails from Monchengladbach, Germany, where his soccer career began as a member of the academies for FC Monchengladbach and Borussia Monchengladbach. “I think the German academies helped me a lot to develop tactical awareness and a good understanding of the game,” Timo Mehlich told BGN. “It helped me mature at an early age and obviously the focus is always on technical work and passing. Those are two big aspects of my game as well so it was good for me to come to America and adapt the more physical playing style.”
He also had the chance to develop against some top talent during his time as an academy player. “I played together with multiple current professionals and Bundesliga players, but most of them wouldn’t be very known in America. In my academy days, I have faced all the great Bundesliga academies in the west like Dortmund and Schalke with players like Leroy Sane now at Man City, Thilo Kehrer now at PSG, Christian Pulisic, and many more.”
In 2016, Timo Mehlich made the move to the United States to play soccer in college. After playing in the Mayor’s Cup in Las Vegas years before and building some relationships in the city, he decided to attend UNLV. Mehlich would go on to rack up accolades and goals in Sin City, including 11 goals and a first team All-WAC conference honor as a senior in 2019. As you watch highlights of Timo in college below, his long-distance shooting is remarkable. Discussing that special ability, he said, “It has always been one of my strengths. Starting around the age of 15-16 years old, I really started working on my left foot so that I could finish with both feet. But, it was really in college where I kept working on my shot with both feet and I think it has become one of my top attributes for sure.”
His performances as a UNLV Rebel and for the U-23 clubs of OKC Energy FC and Portland Timbers transformed him from Timo Mehlich the promising prospect to Timo Mehlich the professional soccer player as he was drafted by Seattle Sounders FC and eventually signed by RGVFC. He’s enjoying the buildup to the USL Championship season kicking off. “It’s been very exciting and I’ve been having so much fun learning from my coaches and teammates in my first pro preseason,” Timo explained. “The speed is a lot higher, everything happens a lot quicker which I really enjoy. It definitely takes some time getting used to the quick play, but it’s really fun when the ball moves so fast. Pressing and defensive shape is a big part of our preseason and I’m learning every day and trying to pick up something that I can add to my game.”
The preseason has also allowed him to get to know his teammates better, including his roommate and fellow rookie, Kyle Sanchez Edwards. “I’ve known Kyle from our time playing against each other in college,” he explained. “I always respected him cause he was one of the best players I faced in college. We talked here and there and texted after the draft. We’re roommates and we get along great! He’s used to the area so he’s shown me around a little bit as well.”
Rooming with Kyle, Timo will likely be paired in the midfield with another former UTRGV star, Isidro “Chelo” Martinez. “He’s another player I played a lot in college. We’ve had our fair share of battles on the field against each other and it was always very tough playing against him so now I’m very excited to be on the same team.” He added that he is sure their styles will complement one another’s, but he hasn’t had the chance to play much next to him because Chelo’s been training with the Dynamo.
Timo Mehlich and the 2020 RGVFC Toros will get the chance to make a first impression at home on 3/8. They will host LA Galaxy II at H-E-B Park in their home opener.