The Orange Blocks: A Clean Sheet & Dynamo Help

RGVFC play to a scoreless draw at home vs. New Mexico United.

The Rio Grande Valley FC Toros found a way to get a result at home, a scoreless draw against New Mexico United. There were some good things that came out of it. For example, the Toros were very creative, took chances, and played aggressively. One thing that did catch my attention frequently were the services of rookie midfielder Isidro Martinez. I feel that every offensive opportunity and the set pieces they get in the attacking half, Martinez placed passes in the right area. Another thing that went pretty well for the Toros was the wing play of Maalique Foster and Jesus Enriquez. Both guys run endlessly and had their battles with Manny Padilla and Josh Suggs. Also, a clean sheet was a very good thing for an RGV defense which had allowed seven goals throughout the first five games.

With the good, there is also some bad. The aggressive play cost the Toros four caution cards throughout the match. I can understand the cards, but just don’t earn them excessively.  Additionally, the bad column is the slow starts. Throughout the first 20 minutes of the contest, New Mexico United had their fair share of opportunities with the RGV backline holding their own.  Finally in the last item making it in the bad column is the poor shooting on target. Yes, shots are good, but on-target shots are even better. However, the Toros have not been very good at that. As head-coach Gerson Echeverry stated in the post-game conference “If there are no goals, there is no glory.”

In the end, the game ended in an entertaining nil-nil draw. Both teams had their chances, but poor shooting for the Toros was the backbreaker.

The Dynamo help

Prior to the game on Saturday night, the Houston Dynamo sent down several players that needed game time to find match fitness for MLS play. The players sent down were goalkeeper Tyler Deric, defenders Kevin Garcia, Alejandro Fuenmayor, and Sam Junqua, plus midfielder Juan David Cabezas, who is recovering from injury.

Deric kept a clean sheet, while Garcia and Fuenmayor turned in professional performances as they each logged 90 minutes with three clearances each.  Cabezas had his standard game. By “standard”, I mean he earned a yellow card for a bad foul and played over 70 minutes.

Most USL Championship teams have an affiliate of some kind with MLS teams. But, those that do not can cry a bit foul. A recent example of MLS clubs using their USL affiliate was the Seattle Sounders sending players to Tacoma for a game against Sacramento.

I don’t see this as an issue, after all the NBA, and MLB do this all the time. But, traditional soccer fans say “we do season-long  loans or six-month deals.” MLS to USL Championship loans is very different only because it can vary from game to game.

Up next for the Toros

The Toros continue their three-game homestand by hosting Oklahoma City Energy FC. These two sides are very familiar with each other. Although the Toros are at a disadvantage with a 2-4-1 record (including a post-season loss in the dying minutes of the 2016 season), there is a reasonable hope that the Toros can get a result as OKC has dropped two of their last three games including the last two on the road. Additionally, the Energy have allowed 12 goals this season so the home game presents an opportunity to get a result.

My final prediction for this one is a 2-1 win for the Toros.

Photo Credit to Christian Inoferio

Rey Silva

Contributor to various websites in the RGV. Opinions are mine. Founder and owner of South Texas Border Sports.