Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – Emilio Garcia scored twice late in the first half to lead Rio Grande Valley FC to a 6-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday night at Toro Park as the side recorded its sixth consecutive shutout. After being shut out themselves in back-to-back contests, the Toros had chances to take the lead in the first half, and finally broke through a minute before the break when Garcia curled home an outstanding free kick into the top-right corner of the net. Garcia then doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time as he slid home a finish after a pass by Yair Arboleda, and two minutes into the second half Ruben Luna made it three as he knocked home from close range after Robbie Lovejoy’s header back across the six-yard area. The Toros added to its lead with nine minutes to go when Eric Bird finished off a good passing move, while Kyle Murphy and Dzenan Catic completed the rout with two goals in stoppage time as the hosts recorded a decisive win that solidified their playoff standing.
44’ – RGV – Emilio Garcia
45+’ – RGV – Emilio Garcia (Yair Arboleda)
47’ – RGV – Ruben Luna (Robbie Lovejoy)
81’ – RGV – Eric Bird (Memo Rodriguez)
90+’ – RGV – Kyle Murphy (Eric Bird)
90+’ – RGV – Dzenan Catic
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Toros came into the game with the hope that if they could break their scoring drought, it would unlock a flood of scoring. That proved to be prophetic, as Emilio Garcia’s brilliant free kick set off a run that saw the side go from a 1-0 lead with a minute to play in the first half to a three-goal lead two minutes into the second half. The Toros’ creativity in opening up the S2 defense was impressive much of the night, as the flowing style play Coach Wilmer Cabrera has instilled in his players paid big dividends.
2. Seattle’s six-game undefeated streak came to an end in disappointing fashion, as S2 was unable to find the attacking rhythm that had pushed the side back into the playoff race over recent weeks with 14 points out of 18 in that span. The margin of error for Seattle tightened again thanks to Saturday’s result, and it will be almost essential to get back into the win column when the side visits San Antonio FC next Saturday night in its next outing.
3. The Toros entered Saturday’s game with nine games remaining in their season, and could now be a threat to make a run at the top four over the final five weeks of the season. RGVFC is now four points behind both Colorado Springs and Vancouver with eight games to go, and could be within a point after Thursday night’s game against Tulsa Roughnecks FC. With the way the Toros are currently playing, it’s unlikely anyone would fancy a trip to South Texas when the playoffs arrive.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Emilio Garcia, Rio Grande Valley FC – Garcia’s pair of goals finally broke the Toros’ scoreless streak and led the side to a big victory against Seattle on Saturday night.
Rio Grande Valley FC at Tulsa Roughnecks FC – August 18, 8:30 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Seattle Sounders FC 2 at San Antonio FC – August 20, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field