Toros set for first home game, third USL Season

RGV Toros Isidro Martinez during practice on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Edinburg. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor dlopez@themoitor.com

TOROS REPORT

When the RGV FC Toros open their home portion of the 2019 season, they will have a plethora of local options to pitch in as they try to return to where they found themselves in their inaugural 2017 season, in the postseason.

RGV Toros Isidro Martinez during practice on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Edinburg. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor dlopez@themoitor.com
RGV Toros Isidro Martinez during practice on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Edinburg. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor dlopez@themoitor.com
RGV Toros Isidro Martinez during practice on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Edinburg. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor dlopez@themoitor.com

The Toros will look to earn their first points in game two of the season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Fresno FC.

In the 2018 season, RGV had trouble breaking the tie. They tied for most ties in the USL with 14 along with playoff qualifiers Pittsburgh and Charleston. Scoring was a constant issue; their 36 goals was near the bottom of the league standings.

The 2019 USL season has already begun for the Toros. With new and old faces on the roster, one name, in particular, stands out. Brownsville native and University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley soccer alumni, midfielder Isidro Martinez will be representing RGV FC this season. Martinez’s signing with the Toros is his first professional contract and he will be representing his home, the Rio Grande Valley.

Martinez is also part of an elite fraternity of RGV high school soccer players who have a UIL Championship ring. He was a part Brownsville Rivera’s 2015 Class 6A championship squad.

After graduating from Rivera, Martinez played all four seasons with the Vaqueros and is the programs’ leader in career assists. He ended his career at UTRGV with nine goals and 13 assists.  In his freshman season (2015), he tied for sixth in the WAC in total assists (5) while ranking seventh in assists per match (0.28). Martinez scored his first career collegiate goal versus Buffalo on Sept. 4, 2015.

“Chellin,” as he is affectionately known by his teammates, was in the starting lineup for the season opener against Tacoma Defiance. In his debut, he played the entire game where he created three chances for a goal. “I’m trying to adapt to the style of play and the speed in which the rest of the team plays, but I’m learning day by day,” Martinez said.

Martinez, alongside Brandon Morales (first RGV FC academy signee) and Victor Garza (Pharr native), will be wearing the Toros crest as they will show what the region can bring to professional soccer all around the USL. All three players are the beginning of many who may come out of the RGV to represent South Texas.

“The Valley can offer a lot of support to the team, knowing that the team has local guys and people here are very passionate about the sport,” Martinez said.

The Toros are 0-0-1 on the young season after a 1-0 loss to expansion club Tacoma Defiance. The USL is in the midst of league-wide growth with seven new programs joining the fold this season and next.

RGV FC will face their first new Texas program on March 29 when they visit El Paso Locomotive FC. The Austin Bold also join RGV and San Antonio FC to create a foursome of in-state competition.

nmata@themonitor.com