EDINBURG, Texas (May 24, 2019) – Rio Grande Valley FC (3-4-4, 13 pts.) is anxious for a rivalry matchup against visiting San Antonio FC (3-5-3, 12 pts.). The Western Conference matchup will take place at H-E-B Park (TICKETS) Kickoff will be at 7:30 P.M. CST on ESPN+.
This is the first official meeting of the 2019 USL Championship season for the two sides. RGV FC is coming off of a draw with LA Galaxy ll, a match which was equalized in stoppage time, 2-2, via the right foot of Ethan Zubak. San Antonio FC also drew in their last match, 1-1, as they faced Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Toyota Field.
The Copa Tejas was introduced this season after the addition of two more Texas based teams to the USL Championship League; Austin Bold and El Paso Locomotive FC. Copa Tejas was formed by supporter groups of San Antonio FC, El Paso, Austin Bold and RGV FC. The award will be given at the end of the 2019 USL Championship regular season to the Texas team with the best head-to-head record amongst the four clubs.
The overall record between the two rivals stands at 4-3-3 slightly in favor of RGV FC by one win. At home, the Toros are ahead in the series, 2-2-1. The road schedule has been a tough one this season for San Antonio. They have lost all four contests away from home, giving them a worrisome 0-4-0 record.
On the offensive attacking effort, SAFC has four players tied for goal scoring leader at three apiece. Brian Gomez headlines the pack with his three goals scored in just eight appearances. San Antonio has scored 14 goals total this season. According to the overall breakdown of field possession and distribution, SAFC pressures the most up front throughout a match with an average of 37.9% of their passing being forward presses.
Jamaican national, Maalique Foster has grown to be a quiet but efficient attacking piece for the Toros. He has scored on three occasions this season and has provided an equal number of assists (3) to help his attacking partners find the back of the net. In the midfield, Brownsville native Isidro “Chelin” Martinez has proven to be a versatile tool as well on the attack for RGV FC as has scored a lone goal and has assisted in three scoring plays. His ability to open up space for attackers and be a field general at midfield makes him standout as a key piece heading into Saturday’s meeting with SAFC.
Some familiar faces have made up the San Antonio roster in the past and the same continues this season as Kai Greene, who was a member of the RGV FC organization for three seasons, will enter battle against his old team. Head coach Gerson Echeverry touched on the meaning of a rivalry game like this Saturday’s match; “For us it is just natural, they are up the road from us so any time you are playing an inter-state game, for us, it is a meaningful game not only because of the league but it is a Texas team so there is that extra. Obviously, they have Kai [Greene] who was here for three years and now he is over there so there is going to be a lot of scenarios that can happen.
A lot of scenarios can take place of course and given that late equalizers that have derailed the Toros chances at three points at home before, a win is most definitely the thing they crave the most. Forward Carlos Small chimed in on the match and the true mentality in the locker room heading into this game; “It is a difficult opponent and we know that we have to face the challenges head on and earn those three points at home. It is more than a rivalry match, it feels like a final because those three points are very important to us.”
Kyle Adams is another returning member of the Toros side and he provided his thoughts on the Tejas Cup meeting; “I would say it is a big game. It is a big game for the club and the for the community. You always want to beat your rival and San Antonio, I think they are a much better team than what they stand to be as well as us.”
There is no doubt that a different energy fills the stadium when it is derby time so there will be plenty of excitement and hard played soccer on Saturday at H-E-B Park as these two South Texas clubs face each other.
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 #