Three Questions with Dynamo Theory

With the Firebirds traveling to Texas to face Rio Grande Valley FC, we checked in with Carson Merk, Toros expert at SB Nation’s Dynamo Theory, to get a read on the opponent.

FR: First – hmm, how to put this delicately – WTF happened down there? Y’all were really good in 2016!

DT: Ah, 2016…simpler times.. Well, this season for RGVFC has been a perfect example of the downside of having an MLS affiliate. From last year’s 2nd seed in the Western Conference Toros, the Dynamo now have: manager Wilmer Cabrera, second leader scorer and assist leader Memo Rodriguez, Charlie Ward who played every second of last season, 2016 captain Kevin Garcia and fellow defensive star George Malki. The massive loss of talent and installing in a new manager has been rough this season. Without a true identity, the club has struggled.


FR: Ok, we get it. It’s a revolving door with the first team. Who are the USL-level stars from the Dynamo who might suit up at RGV this weekend, and what do they bring?

DT: Just like you said, it’s a revolving door between RGV and the Dynamo, so it’s never clear who may or may not play any given weekend. If I were to guess, we could see Joseph Holland, Taylor Hunter and Jose Escalante down from the first team. Holland was the #10 pick in this year’s Superdraft and is very creative in the final third. Really impressive anytime he plays with the Toros. Taylor Hunter was a steady centerback for the club last season and does a good job when he’s down this year. Escalante has been on fire lately. He is playing with lightning pace, an attacking mindset and boatloads of skill. He has been a joy to watch this summer.

FR: You might have noticed that we give up goals on the counter. Does that play to the Toros’ strengths?

DT: Kai Greene and Escalante will be the biggest beneficiaries of that. Greene is arguably the best athlete in the USL and will surely use his pace from his fullback position to push forward. Escalante will also be dangerous if given too much room on the counter.


FR: Bonus… How’s our boy George Malki? Hopefully he’s healing up nice.

DT: Gorgeous George was doing really well last time I spoke with him! His positivity throughout the rehab process has amazed me. As you know, he’s a super great guy and supremely talented player that any club is lucky to have. Looking forward to spending some time with him and the lads when I’m down in Houston next month.
Carson Merk is a terrific USL follow, and a great friend of Firebird Rising. Check out his work on Dynamo Theory and Newcastle Toons.