On November 28, 2017 the United Soccer League announced a new agreement with Dallas Cup, the internationally renowned youth competition. The RGV FC Toros Academy 99 Boys were able to participate for the first time in the invitation-only tournament.
The Toros Academy measured themselves against high-level clubs from around the world. The club was able to reach the semifinal round of the Dallas Cup, a feature never done before by a team from the Rio Grande Valley.
“I think we made history, to be honest,” said Toros Academy midfielder Victor Medellin. “It was an unbelievable experience for us as a team. We have been working together for the past two years now and it is incredible that we were able to reach the semifinals of the Dallas Cup.”
The journey for the Toros started on Monday, March 26 against Solar 99 Sawyer, ranked 1st in the Texas North Region, from Dallas, Texas. The Toros were able to get a clean sheet on their Dallas Cup debut but they failed to get on the score sheet and played to a 0-0 draw.
Rain played an important factor in the Dallas Cup. Games had to be postponed. The RGV FC Academy boys were not able to get back into the pitch until Thursday, March 29. The Toros were lethal against Knowsley Youth, a team from England. RGV FC notched two goals and their first three points of the tournament. Julian Colchado and Izui Villasana scored for the RGV FC Academy.
The next morning the team faced Strikers FC North 99/00 McManus from the state of California. Not only did the RGV FC Academy defeat Strikers FC North 2-1 with goals from Fernando Barrientos and Brandon Morales, they were also able to advance to the next round of the Dallas Cup.
Due to the postponed matches, the Toros were forced to play the quarterfinals that same Friday. With tired legs on the squad, RGV FC Academy coach Rafael Amaya got creative with the lineup. The Toros advanced on to the semifinals with a 3-0 win over Ereno 00S Shaffer ECNL. Roberto Ordoñez got on the scoresheet for the Toros and Izui Villasana had a brace.
“Our coaching was amazing, “ explained Garret Wild, goalkeeper for the RGV FC Academy. “ We were able to sit out some of our starters, have the younger guys get some playing time, and have the young guys make an impact on the match. Although we had setbacks, the team responded really well.”
With four games on a three-day span, the RGV FC Academy took the necessary steps in order to ensure the team was at an optimum level for their matches. “We were taking ice baths every day and stretching every morning, “ Said Fernando Barrientos , forward for the Toros Academy. “ We responded well to the adversary.”
Unfortunately the stellar performance of the RGV FC Academy came to an end in the semifinal round. In the final minutes of the match, Fernando Barrientos' goal was not enough and the Toros succumbed to FC Golden State White 99 and lost 2-1.
With many members of the team being high school seniors, Dallas Cup would be the last major tournament for numerous players. “It feels so great to share the pitch with these guys since we are a brotherhood, “ said RGV FC academy midfielder Brandon Morales. “From when we first started to right now, the team has been building chemistry and now we are all synchronized and in the same page. Dallas Cup was a great experience and another step so that our student athletes could catch the eyes of college recruits.”