The Orange Blocks: Toros’ slim playoff hopes take a hit

Another loss for RGVFC puts the playoffs further out of reach.

If you are a fan of RGVFC, look away just for a bit. If there is an indication of what you need to know about this current season, look no further than their last game against OKC Energy FC on Saturday night.

The final score was 4-2, but don’t let the scoreline fool you, it was combination of long passes and some nice build ups that OKC was able to create and make good out of the opportunities.

With the home loss for RGV, the Toros will have plenty of work to do and will need to get some W’s to make that final push for a playoff spot. They also need to start burning some candles and getting some next level help along the way.

Pre-match observations

  • Michael Nelson (loaned down from the Houston Dynamo) was on the bench, with Nico Corti getting the start between the pipes.
  • Forward and tryout signee Aldo Quintanilla was not even on the team sheet (Coach’s decision). Also missing was Bryce Marion.
  • Players such as Monday Etim & Jhon Montaño finally getting some playing time in the recent games.

Michael Nelson being on the bench was something of a surprise due to his home form with three clean sheets, a pair of wins and a draw. Nico Corti got the start this home match, where he has been in fine form before having a road hiccup. If form is a fallacy, then why not give Nelson the opportunity to continue his growth as a professional?

With Quintanilla missing, it meant the Toros top scorer with four goals in 18 matches was not available. For Marion, it meant less speed coming off the bench to provide the RGV side with more pace along the flanks or wreck havoc through the middle with a key pass or run to provide an attempt at goal.

Also the sudden return of Monday Etim and John Montaño has been a bit of surprise just due to the fact that they haven’t  getting much minutes as of late and having to been either dropped from the team sheet or making cameo appearances.

Match Summary

During the first 15 minutes of the match, OKC had the better opportunities. But, RGV had the possession but no clear opportunity.

In the 34th minute, Christian Volesky opened the scoring in the match with his eight goal of the season to give the Energy a 1-0 advantage on a long ball from Jose Barril.

Minutes later, Hugh Alexander Dixon was on the receiving end of another Barril pass and made it 2-0 for the Energy that drew some boos from the Toros’ faithful.

Moving into first-half stoppage time, RGV had a corner kick that landed to defender Omar Ontiveros. He flicked it over to Matias Zaldivar for a 2-1 scoreline. It was a rare set piece goal by the Toros.

During the second half, it was more of OKC in the attack as Volesky secured a brace with Alex Dixon providing the assist. That restored the two goal advantage at 3-1.

When it seemed it could not get worse for RGV, the Energy added a fourth goal of the night in the 67th minute. It was Adam Jahn who got in on the scoring act to make it a 4-1 match.

With ten minutes left in the game, OKC committed a clumsy challenge inside the box and the Toros were awarded a penalty kick. Todd Wharton would score a consolation goal from the spot to end the game score at 4-2.

Volesky ended the night with two goals for OKC and Jose Barril had two assists in the Energy win. However, the glaring problem for the Toros wasn’t defending the set pieces. It was defending the long passes that OKC played through to create most of their scoring opportunities.  The RGV defense had solid outings prior to the three-game slide that they are in at the moment.

Post game thoughts

The Toros now sit eight places outside the final playoff spot with a 14 point difference. Yes, there is time to catch up, but that will need to start with a pair of games in California starting on Wednesday night against  Los Dos (LA Galaxy 2) with the kickoff set for 9:05 PM CST on ESPN +.  The Toros have been woeful on the road  (0-7-3), but the opportunity is there to snap that streak and they will need to have a solid effort in order to get three points. The next time I will write will be in the next edition of the South Texas Derby.

Photo courtesy of Cesar Cortez of Down in the Valley Podcast

Author

Rey Silva

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