EDINBURG, Texas (April 29, 2019) – Rio Grande Valley FC (2-3-3, 9 pts.) is set to take on top ranked Portland Timbers 2 (4-1-3, 15 pts.) on the road at Merlo Field. The Western Conference matchup is set to kickoff at 9:00 p.m. CST on ESPN+.
RGVFC is 1-4-1 overall heading into this Tuesday night matchup with Portland Timbers 2. The only win against the Timbers came on the road for the Toros, giving them a 1-2-0 record to try and even out. In the last matchup, which occurred in the 2018 season, Portland was able to take home three points behind a 0-1 win at H-E-B Park on June 9.
Portland Timbers 2 has scored a total of 18 goals this season while RGV FC has tallied 14 goals. The attack has been heavy lately by the Toros as they have scored 11 of their 14 total goals in the last three matches.
Michael Salazar earned a hat-trick in the 4-4 draw against LA Galaxy ll, the most recent result for the Toros. Salazar now has climbed to the top of the leaderboard for RGV FC in goals scored (4) this season. Portland Timbers 2 is led on the scoring end by Foster Langsdorf with his 3 total goals.
Although there is a slight disadvantage being the road team, defender Robert Coronado remains confident in the ability of RGV FC and looks to help steal three points at Merlo Field, “Obviously, when you’re on the road you want to win all the games as well so, I don’t see a big difference from traveling. I just feel like we are the away team, but we don’t play like we are the away team so, I feel like that helps us a lot.”
The two sides know each other well in the league but one particular player stands out in this matchup, Todd Wharton. The Timbers midfielder was previously on the Toros roster and captained the 2018 roster for Gerson Echeverry. Kyle Adams, a returning defender on the RGV FC squad knows Wharton well and offered up his thoughts on his presence on the field; “I think his composure on the ball, he just moves the ball really well. It is one thing he did really well for us last year, just completing passes and just moving the team from side to side and he is obviously a very experienced player, so he can be a bit of a “general” there in midfield and lead that team, which is what he did for us here last year.”
Any sound attacking team creates a bit of concern on the defending end for a coach when creating a game plan. Echeverry is expecting better pressure on defense from his men to limit the Timbers attack; “We need to defend a lot better. We have given up six goals in the last two games, four the last game. So, I think that we need to defend particularly on set pieces, we need to be better, we need to be sharper, not lose our marks so easily. Then the same thing, being able to reference their attacking players, to not give them too many open looks because if they do, they have the quality to be able to punish us.”
Portland sits on top of the Western Conference confidently but must be aware of the grit and determination of this young Toros side who have proven to handle themselves on the pitch well despite age or experience differences. The full 90 will be a test for both sides to see who can crack the opposing defense first and seal a victory, drawing is not the objective here.
Updates on the match will be provided via Twitter at @RGVFC or by following #SomosToros. To see more matchday information, visit www.rgvfc.com .
# SOMOS TOROS #