EDINBURG, Texas (August 23, 2019) – Rio Grande Valley FC (6-11-7, 25 pts.) is home for a Copa Tejas match against El Paso Locomotive FC (8-7-8, 32 pts.) at H-E-B Park (TICKETS). The matchup is set to kick off at 7:30 P.M. CST on ESPN+ and Somos El Valle 5.2.
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 Locomotive FC, Austin Bold FC 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.
As the Copa Tejas table sits currently, RGV has earned five points in the competition. El Paso has accumulated just three points, which sets them in fourth place trailing only the Toros. After a draw against San Antonio this past week, 2-2, RGV FC looks to climb the standings in both the league and Copa table.
Home matches have been a strong point for RGV, five of their six total wins on the season have come at H-E-B Park. As the pressure mounts up to land positive results and keep the playoff hopes alive, the young Toros squad is locked in and ready to go all out in this battle, the rivalry adding on a bit of fuel to the fire.
Overall, El Paso Locomotive has had a fair inaugural season. Their ability to control matches and maintain possession for an average of 58 percent during play gives headaches to defending teams because there is little room for error on both ends. RGV will have to play smart and capitalize any attacking chances in case the possession begins to sway one way on Saturday.
On the offensive end, Jerome Keisewetter has scored 10 of the 26 total goals for the El Paso, making him a concerning piece to look out for in this match. Quick runs or a sudden lob could result in the deciding goal so Echeverry and company must game plan correctly to stop not only Keisewetter, but Sebastian Contreras as well who has created 41 chances for El Paso thus far.
Defensively, Locomotive FC benefits from the strong goalkeeping of Logan Ketterer. He has locked in nine clean sheets, accompanied by 44 saves this season alone. Set pieces and break away chances may be a good opportunity to test the goal of Ketterer, while remaining composed throughout the midfield and beyond to avoid a counterattack on possession plays.
Head coach Gerson Echeverry praised the offensive efforts, especially as of late; “It starts with the delivery. More importantly it is about the way in which we attack the ball. Guys are attacking the ball more, when you attack the ball and place it on target, something positive can always happen.”
With that being said, the Toros must press up high and take a shot at goal often to unbalance the back line of El Paso. Remaining focused on their own objective and not getting carried away with the calls being made on the field or getting caught off guard on the counter plays will also be huge in this chase for three big home points.
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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