RGV FC Toros to open 2018 regular season Friday at H-E-B Park
By Bryan Ramos
he RGV FC Toros have been rolling through the preseason in preparation for the start of the 2018 USL season. With kickoff slated for Friday night at H-E-B Park, the Toros and first year Head Coach Gerson Echeverry are hoping to deliver solid performances for the home crowd at while putting RGV FC back on the right track.
“The guys are really working hard; I think we’ve really come a long way from the first week,” Echeverry said. “I think players are understanding their roles, understanding the scheme of how we want to play, and right now we’re working on making sure we put on a good performance and get three points on Friday.”
After finishing 11th in the Western Conference in 2017 with a 9-15-8 record and 35 points, the Toros are focused on improving the play on the field while creating a winning culture as the Houston Dynamo’s USL hybrid-affiliate.
The RGV FC roster looks almost entirely different from last year’s as the Toros bring on 21 new players for the 2018 campaign, making them one of the youngest teams in the USL.
“It’s a complete different team, I think 21 different players that have come from last year,” Echeverry said. “So, obviously being young, there’s some inexperience, but there’s a lot of talent. So now, since we started, we’re trying to form a team, meshing the team, making sure we have guys on the same page.”
With a large group of new faces, two familiar ones who have experience with RGV FC are midfielder Todd Wharton and defender Kai Greene, and they will be leaned upon heavily to move the Toros in the right direction.
Greene was named one of USL’s Top Five Defenders to Watch in 2018 as the 24-year old is reunited with Echeverry, his former head coach while at Seton Hall. went under the radar in 2017 but put up some very impressive numbers for a Toros defense that had its struggles in the club’s second season, ranking second in the league in tackles won with 73 while also racking up 168 duels won, 75 clearances and 51 interceptions. Greene maintaining his level will be crucial to the side rebounding back into playoff contention this season.
Goalkeeper Nico Corti arrives with a solid pedigree from Stanford University, but maybe the biggest key for the Toros this season will be getting the club’s attack back on track. After scoring only 20 goals at home a season ago, making H-E-B Park a far tougher place to play will need to be the priority this season.
The Toros open the regular season Friday, March 16 against Saint Louis FC at 7:30 p.m. at H-E-B Park. Tickets start at $5 and there will be a post-match firework show going on after the game.
“We still have a long way to go, it’s still early on as far as becoming a team because a lot of the guys are young, but I think that hopefully Friday we show we’re taking the right steps and hopefully by getting three points.”
The Toros open the 2018 season with three straight home games beginning Friday, followed by home games on Wednesday, March 28 and Saturday, March 31. Tickets can be purchased at www.rgvfc.com/tickets.