It was a fun, exciting night at H-E-B Park for RGVFC.
The Rio Grande Valley Toros were already eliminated from all playoff hopes going into the game against Sounders 2. However, it did not mean that it would easily give up on anything. Thus, RGVFC used many variations and it paid off very well. The Toros used all the possible help from the Dynamo in the form of Chris Seitz, Eric Bird, and AJ DeLaGarza.
Despite the trio of first team loanees, most of the attention was on RGVFC Academy product Brandon Morales for making his first start. He played a total of 68 minutes in his first start and was replaced by Bryce Marion. Morales said after the game “All the players came to me and told me not to be nervous and to trust them.” Coach Echeverry was pleased with the performance and he added’ “The sky is the limit for him and (Wilmer) Cabrera. The more exposure we give them the better.”
As for the game itself, it had plenty of fireworks as RGVFC set the tone very early.
The Toros got on the board first with a quality strike from the skipper Todd Wharton in the fifth minute of play beating his former team-mate Calle Brown. From there, Seattle took over the possession, but they couldn’t find the net as Seitz was forced to make some saves. As the game progressed, RGVFC sat back and countered the Sounders attack and it paid off in the 41st minute. Eric Bird had some silky moves to elude a few defenders to net the second goal of the game to make it 2-0 advantage.
However, the scoring did not end there as RGVFC had other chances to blow the game wide open. After the Morales substitution, the Toros had a clear break at goal that just went wide of the mark, which would have sealed the match. Finally, the third goal of the night arrived as Wharton took a corner kick opportunity and found substitute Nicolas Perea. It was the second goal for Perea in as many games as he previously scored against Colorado Springs last weekend.
The victory for the Toros was the biggest margin of victory this season as they have three of the next four on the road as they look to derail other teams’ playoff hopes.
Observations and other thoughts
Aside from seeing two 18-year-old players on the pitch, three Dynamo players on assignment, and a nice fireworks show after the game, the Toros produced a full 90 minute performance this season. Were there other victories during the season? Yes, but the one against Seattle mattered a little more because they are auditions for the following year as to who gets re-signed or released.
After the game Gerson Echeverry gave his thoughts on the overall performance, “Chris Seitz provided a sense of stability and was able to keep the game in check. There were times where we gave up the long ball, but Chris came up big. He also had some saves to keep the clean sheet.”
Additionally, Eric Bird talked to the media after the game about his goal and on Brandon Morales performance “I had trained in Houston, but I was able to get some game time. The opportunity presented itself with a loose ball and I put it past my former team-mate (Brown). I thought the youngster (Morales) played well. I hope he uses it as motivation to keep going and work harder each day.”
Up next for RGV FC
A road trip to Reno awaits them on Wednesday. The first time the sides met this season it ended in a scoreless draw on Kids day at H-E-B Park. Both teams since then have gone in different directions. The Toros eliminated from postseason contention and playing spoiler role, while Reno is hanging on to one of the eight playoff spots. RGVFC will look to derail Reno’s playoff hopes by continuing to get positive results on the road.
Photo Credit to Cesar Cortez of Down In The Valley Podcast