EDINBURG, Texas – The prospect of Rio Grande Valley FC opening its new soccer-specific stadium H-E-B Park with a visit from Liga MX club C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday, March 22 has had soccer fans in the region excited since Monday’s announcement.
Understandably sharing that enthusiasm is Toros Head Coach Othoniel "Junior" Gonzalez, who can’t wait for his side to take the field in the brand new 9,700-seat stadium.
“It’s going to be huge for our community, huge for our team and huge for the club,” said Gonzalez following the Toros’ scrimmage with UTRGV on Monday night. “For us to open the stadium, get the community involved, from a player standpoint to play against a first team from Liga MX, even if they throw some reserves in there, it’ll give us a good prep game.”
The game arrives four days before the Toros’ USL regular season opener against in-state rival San Antonio FC, which will see the burgeoning rivalry between the two clubs resume for a second season. That will likely necessitate reinforcements from Houston, with the Dynamo having the week off in MLS due to the FIFA international games window.
“We’ll probably bring some Dynamo players down because it’s very close to our season opener,” said Gonzalez. “We don’t want to kill our team and play them the whole 90, but we are excited for the match.”
RGVFC took a 2-1 win against the Vaqueros in their preseason contest on Monday, with Kyle Murphy scoring the opening goal before a UTRGV own goal early in the second half. Gonzalez was pleased to get the result, but more importantly see how the large group of trialists blended with the Toros’ players and performed in a full 90 minutes.
“It was good for us to see how they implemented the tactics we’ve been working on throughout the week,” he said. “We created some goal-scoring opportunities, obviously getting a result is good, but I think there’s a lot of things we can grow on from the game.”