The Orange Blocks: South Texas Blues

South Texas Derby Blues For RGVFC

The South Texas Derby was supposed to be a turning point for RGVFC, who had slim hopes of reaching the playoffs.  Jesus Enriquez provided the game’s first excitement for the Toros faithful as he scored in the third minute. However, the game had it up and downs. After a series of opportunities by both teams, San Antonio began knocking on the door, but Nico Corti stood tall and had some saves. In the 37th minute of the match, Carlos Small and Stephen McCarthy collided near the middle of the pitch. McCarthy took worse part of it, thus he was subbed off for Mike Seth and it seemed to motivate the visitors. With that substitution, San Antonio pressed towards an equalizer before the break but no dice.  During the second half of the match, it would turn very ugly for the Toros.

After the intermission, San Antonio FC came out and displayed as to why they are in a playoff hunt. They would end up scoring three goals, two of which came within the first 20 minutes of the second half.  Conor Pressley leveled the match at one with a pass from Lance Laing shortly after the break. The home side pressed for a go-ahead goal, but they weren’t able to break through. Then in the 62nd minute, the visitors’ build-up play led to a series of nice passing inside the box which culminated in a Laing goal to make it 2-1. 10 minutes from full time, the visitors used the long ball that allowed Ever Guzman to score and iced game at 3-1.

Other Observations

  • Three former Toros made their return to the Valley (Charlie Ward, Kyle Murphy, and Jose Escalante)
  • Toros cut three players and add one.

Leading up to the South Texas Derby, the Toros faithful were constantly reminded of their three former players that left the Houston Dynamo organization to join SAFC. It began with Jose Escalante who was signed by San Antonio after not being renewed by  Houston. Then, Kyle Murphy was the next to sign with the rival club.  Then came the dagger signing, as Charlie Ward followed his former colleagues to the Alamo City.

Ward had some comments for Down In The Valley podcast after the game: 

“I have the most respect for this club, started here, played like 40 times, so I appreciate this club. Houston was a different story, but this club will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Ward on his time with RGVFC.

Also leading up to the Derby, the Toros released three players by mutual consent: Zach Wright, Jhon Montaño, and Guillermo Delgado. Montaño and Delgado occupied international slots. As lineups were announced, the team sheet included a new face, Romilio Hernandez. Hernandez was a former draft pick by the Portland Timbers and played for Phoenix Rising FC last season making two appearances.

Final Thoughts

With the loss, the Toros have a mathematical chance at the post season but will have their work cut out. It will commence with a road game against Phoenix Rising FC on Wednesday night on ESPN +. Also the loss to San Antonio will mean that they will have to win in their road match in the River Walk city to save some pride.


Photo Courtesy: Cesar Cortez of Down in the Valley Podcast 

Rey Silva

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