Match Preview: Toros Face SAFC in Copa Tejas Matchup on the Road
SAN ANTONIO - Rio Grande Valley FC (6-11-6, 24 pts.) takes the short trip north to take on rival San Antonio FC (8-9-6, 30 pts.) at Toyota Field as Copa Tejas resumes. The Western Conference matchup is set to kick off at 7:30 P.M. CST on ESPN+.
After a tough to swallow last minute draw against Colorado Springs FC on the road, the Toros are eager to face off against interstate rival San Antonio FC. The match has always been an intensely and passionately fought battle between both sides.
The last match between the two teams resulted in a convincing 3-1 victory for RGV FC at H-E-B Park. If that result can repeat itself for Gerson Echeverry, it will be a big positive note after a few tough road matches.
SAFC enters the contest boasting an 8-9-6 record which has kept them in the playoff picture, as they occupy the tenth and final spot needed to qualify for postseason. At home they have six victories and four draws, with two losses. Toyota Field is a tough soccer environment to enter as a rival so the local fans will try to intensify the match on Saturday night.
There is no doubt that a derby match spikes the intensity of competition on the pitch. Returning member of the RGV roster, Robert Castellanos, has occupied the back line for the Toros in previous matches against San Antonio and offered up his take; "It is an away game, but at the same time we are playing in Texas, so at the end of the day these matches are played a little bit differently. You play with more heart because nobody likes to lose derbies. No matter what, we need to go out there and get a result."
As of late, there have been some quality minutes played by the younger members of the Toros roster. Last game midfielder Kevin Rodriguez scored his first professional goal, after being highlighted as a key piece up front. Andres Arcila has scored a goal in the last two matches, both very impressive strikes from mid distance.
Look for those two players to make an impact this match. SAFC has weapons of their own however; Frank Lopez is the scoring leader for the team with 10 individual goals. Jack Barmby closely follows suit with six goals of his own. Barmby is a lot more dangerous as an attacking piece for San Antonio due to his ability to open up the field and create chances, 46 this season to be exact. On the defensive end, goalkeeper Matt Cardone has kept six clean sheets in 22 appearances.
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 SAFC, ELP, ABFC 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.
Currently, RGV FC sits in second place of the Copa Tejas with 4 points. Austin Bold and SAFC are tied for first with 7 points, Locomotive FC has totaled 3 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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