EDINBURG, Texas (April 12, 2019) – Rio Grande Valley FC (0-3-2) will host the third home match of the season at H-E-B Park as they take on OKC Energy FC (2-2-1) in pursuit of the first victory of the season.
The Toros are coming off a well fought scoreless draw against New Mexico United where defense was the difference maker. RGV FC limited the opponent attack to just one shot on target and saw Houston Dynamo keeper, Tyler Deric, complete the clean sheet on a good night in Edinburg. New Mexico kept most of the possession percentage throughout the match but still were out shot by RGV as the Toros attack struck on 14 occasions, nearly scoring on two opportunities on goal.
It is certain that the hunger for the first victory of the season is strong in the locker room for head coach Gerson Echeverry and his team. A new opportunity at home is the perfect moment to capitalize and earn three points to inch up the Western Conference standings. Forward Maalique Foster praised the defensive effort so far and gave his input on the offensive end; “We just need to stay calm and focus on reaching the final third and putting away our chances. As you can see, we are doing well in the defensive, so it is just the other part, putting away our chances.”
It seems like the key to closing out with a good result is the ability to finish in the final third for the Toros, with many chances presenting themselves and players like Jesus Enriquez being able to score a goal on the road, the adjustments have been made. Enriquez commented on the strategy going into this matchup with the Energy FC; “We just have to keep doing what we are doing. You guys saw, the third game they [New Mexico] didn’t score any goals on us. We were organized defensively, and we created chances, more in the second half. Now our job is to capitalize on those chances and go forward from there.”
OKC currently sits in the 9th spot of the Western Conference standings behind two victories and a draw, which gave them seven points. They have suffered two losses and conceded 12 goals in just five weeks of action. All of their 11 goals have come from inside the box which means that the Toros defense will have to be extra cautious when defending the inside zone in the back third.
Echeverry offered up his observations on the scouting report for OKC; “The pace that they have. They are a very athletic team. There’s a lot of pace up front and up wide. They are very good at getting behind the defenders and they’ve scored some goals. That’s something scary about their midfielders that they’re very precise with their passes, especially their long passes and playing balls up in the top. So that is something that we have to be careful with because of their level of athleticism is very good.”
He also discussed the issue of finishing for RGV FC; “Yes, I feel that right now that is our heel. Being the fact that we have not been able to put the ball at the back of the net at the rate that we would like to. The effort is there, and the opportunities have been there, and I think that the individuals who have been put in place have done really well at putting themselves to almost scoring but it’s the final piece, the last pass and final touch to make sure to put the ball at the back of the net has been missing. But, the boys have been working on finishing and we hope that the dam breaks eventually.”
The orange and white faithful are expecting another good showing on defense from the Toros this Saturday and hope to celebrate a few goals as their attack looks to connect and capitalize on their created chances.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. CST and will be available on ESPN+. Updates on the match will be provided via Twitter at @RGVFC or by following #SomosToros. To see more matchday information, visit www.rgvfc.com.
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