Match Preview: Toros Face Monarchs in Utah
EDINBURG, Texas - The schedule rolls on for Rio Grande Valley FC (4-5-4, 16 pts.) as they prepare for a road match against Real Monarchs SLC (3-6-3, 12 pts.). The matchup will be at Zions Bank Stadium with kickoff at 9:00 P.M. CST on ESPN+.
After enduring a rather frustrating loss on the road, 1-2, against Orange County SC, the Toros have regrouped and aim their sights on Real Monarchs. For RGV FC, it is the second road match in a row as they look to improve their away record, which currently sits at 1-4-2. The only challenge that may concern the Toros is the elevation in Utah.
Head coach Gerson Echeverry emphasized the need to condition well leading up to the match and the importance of controlling the speed of play on the pitch; "We need to keep possession of the ball, make the ball move. Let the ball do the running and not necessarily have us sprinting all over the place, running out of air." South Texas offers plenty of heat and humidity while in training sessions but there is no real elevation to prepare for road matches such as this one, leaving little room for acclimation.
The comparison between the two sides historically shows to be a rather close race as the Monarchs lead the overall record, 2-3-1. On the road, RGV has suffered two losses and has earned one win, if successful the Toros can even that record out.
On the attack for Real Monarchs, Maikel Chang leads in goals scored this season with five, closely followed by teammate Jack Blake who has scored four. For RGV, Michael Salazar continues to be the lone leader in scoring by a land slide as he has now totaled seven goals in the season. However, the ability for other players to strike rapidly, just like Robert Coronado did against OC with a laser from outside the box, makes the Toros very dangerous to any opponent.
Maalique Foster will miss a series of games due to his national team call-up with Jamaica as they enter the 2019 Gold Cup competition these next few weeks. Foster has been beneficial on the distribution up front and dynamic of attack for RGV. The attacking zone for the Toros will not miss a beat out front because of capable young players who can step up if called upon during the match.
Road matches are never easy and allowing for an opposing side to be confident on the pitch is not on the agenda for the Toros. Echeverry gave his input on the mentality heading into this weekend's match; "Obviously, any time that you are home you are trying to get three points. So, for us it will be making sure that we minimize opportunities that they might have and make sure that we don't give up silly goals, especially early goals that might give them a lot of energy and motivation."
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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