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?
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.