EDINBURG, Texas (Saturday, May 20, 2023) – Rio Grande Valley FC (2-2-5) welcome Eastern Conference side Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-4-2) to H-E-B Park on Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. CST. This is the first-ever meeting between the sides in USL Championship action.
Business was taken care of on the road by Rio Grande Valley FC. The Toros entered the matchup against San Diego Loyal SC as an underdog on paper but quickly showed otherwise on the field as they managed a three goal opening half; Robert Coronado scored his first of the season, while Ricky Ruiz and Christiano Francois claimed their second goal of 2023.
RGV FC managed to close the match out with three points, despite a late-stage effort by San Diego Loyal; the visiting club fought hard to avoid a repeat of their previous match at home to New Mexico United where they allowed a 2-0 lead to slip away and cost them two of three available points that match.
One thing is certain, RGV FC have found a better rhythm offensively and have netted five goals in the past three matches, a figure which was scarce in the early goings of the season when the Toros averaged one goal per match.
A more aggressive midfield has allowed for smoother transition on the wings and created a stronger counter-attacking scheme for Wilmer Cabrera’s squad. Shot selection has been less conservative which has led to high threat options from both inside and outside the 18-yard box. In the last match Rio Grande shot 17 times, nine of which were from inside the box, and ultimately landed five on target to yield three goals.
Tampa Bay Rowdies are coming off an impressive 5-1 thrashing of Detroit City FC and look to build on their three game win streak as they enter a tough matchup against a determined Rio Grande Valley side, at their home venue. This match pans out to be a 90-minute tightly fought battle.
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