Saint Louis FC Welcomes Rio Grande Valley FC To Toyota Stadium This Weekend
Coming off a 2-2 draw at Sacramento last weekend, Saint Louis FC welcomes Rio Grande Valley FC to St. Louis this weekend for a match Saturday night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. At 5-5-6 on the season, STLFC sits in 9th place in the USL West with 21 points. Rio Grande Valley FC is 1-6-8 on the season for 11 points.
RGV FC and Saint Louis FC faced off in the opening game of the 2018 season in Edinburg, Texas back in March, a 1-1 draw. Tony Walls scored for STLFC while Pablo Aguilar recorded the tally for the Toros.
Kickoff at Toyota Stadium is set for 7:30 pm Saturday night. Select Soccer Park concession stands will be selling $1 drafts from the Budweiser family of beers and the club will be putting on a post-game fireworks display. SugarFire 44 and the Locoz Tacoz food truck will also be selling food at the park.
A special $15 Folds of Honor ticket package is available for Saturday’s contest. The package includes an East Premium ticket as well as free draft beer for fans 21 years of age and older. $2 from each $15 package sold will also go to Folds of Honor.
Can’t make it to Soccer Park on Saturday night? Stream the match on ESPN+.
Last Time Out
Saint Louis FC trailed Sacramento on the road last Saturday night midway through the second half. In the 74th minute, Albert Dikwa got the Chupcacabras on the board and made the score 2-1. In the 90th minute, Wal Fall brought the teams level with a beautiful free kick. Despite a flurry in stoppage time, STLFC held on to earn a point with the 2-2 draw in front of the Sacramento crowd.
Though not earning three points, RGVFC earned a positive result last time out in playing Phoenix Rising FC to a 0-0 draw at H-E-B Park. The draw against the Drogba-less Rising moved the Toros home record to 1-1-7 on the season.
Scouting Rio Grande Valley FC
As the USL affiliate of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, the RGV FC Toros are forced to deal with a situation that many USL clubs in that same situation play with. In fact, STLFC fans can be thankful their club isn’t in the same situation when they see head coach Anthony Pulis on the sidelines at Soccer Park. When Pulis was at the helm of Orlando City B, he was forced to deal with a rather fluid roster as players moved back and forth between the MLS bench and the USL roster.
32 different players have seen action for RGVFC this season. By comparison, only 25 different players have taken the pitch for Pulis this season. Four Chupacabras have played in all 16 USL games this season and two more have missed just one. No Toros have appeared in every one of the team’s 15 matches this season. Defender Kyle Adams leads Gerson Echeverry’s team with 1,260 minutes on the pitch over 14 games.
Echeverry will likely be forced to make changes to his lineup again this week in St. Louis. His Captain, Todd Wharton, was signed to a short-term agreement by the MLS side yesterday. The Dynamo take on Monterrey CF Friday night in Houston.
Aldo Quintanilla leads the Toros with 4 goals scored in 11 matches this season.
Goalkeeper Michael Nelson made his debut for Rio Grande Valley last week against Phoenix Rising FC and recorded a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw. Nelson earned a spot on the USL Team of the Week for his performance, which came in his professional debut and against a Phoenix Rising FC team that brought at +18 goal differential into the match. The Southern Methodist University graduate was taken 20th overall by the Houston Dynamo in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and was recently loaned to the USL side by the Dynamo.
What To Expect From Saint Louis FC
Dynamo Theory, an SB Nation site dedicated to the Houston Dynamo, thinks Rio Grande Valley FC could earn three points in St. Louis. The writer calls Saint Louis FC “top to bottom a very average USL squad” in his preview of Saturday’s match.
However, the Chupacabras have had a strong run of form in the month of June. Wins over Swope Park and Tulsa started the month before a 1-0 loss to the conference leading Real Monarchs on June 16 at Soccer Park. Despite taking the loss, the capacity crowd was treated to an exciting match in which the lone goal was scored on a penalty. The team rebounded from the loss with the very strong showing in Sacramento last week. Republic FC is another club high on the Western Conference table and the fact that Pulis’ squad was able to fight back from two goals down is a testament to players’ dedication.
In his post-match comments after the loss to the Monarchs, Pulis said “it was probably the most dominate we’ve been at home this year” in speaking of his team’s performance. After the draw in Sacramento, the head coach said “the never say die attitude and togetherness we have is special and counts for so much.”
With a large crowd anticipated, $1 beers available at select concession stands, special Louligan craft beers available in the corner and temperatures possibly dipping to 89° just after kickoff, expect a boisterous atmosphere for the Saint Louis FC players to feed off of in their return to Fenton.
On the pitch, look for Albert Dikwa, Wal Fall and Aedan Stanley to continue their own strong runs of form.
Forward Joey Calistri has scored three times for STLFC this month and Kyle Greig leads the team with 6 goals. but neither has scored over the last two matches. Both will surely be looking to score early tomorrow night to set the game’s tone.
On the other side of the ball, the Chupacabra defense has been on its own strong run of form. In four matches this month, Tomas Gomez and company have allowed just three goals and the Webster Groves product has recorded two clean sheets over that span. Sam Fink and Sean Reynolds are two of the 4 players for Pulis that have played every USL match this season. The pair, along with Lewis Hilton, are the only three players on the squad to have stayed on the pitch for every minute of USL action this season.
Young goaltenders in the area could be in for a real treat tomorrow night at Soccer Park if Nelson and Gomez both have strong outings.
Louligan Ladies Take Over Louligans Tailgate Saturday
If you already have your tickets to the match on Saturday, make plans to arrive early to partake in the Louligans tailgate. The Louligan Ladies, a sub-group within the Louligans supporters’ group, take over the hosting duties this Saturday. The food menu will feature beef and chicken curry as well as some non-curry options and the festivities start at 5:30 pm sharp when the WWT Soccer Park lots open.
This weekend’s Charity Du Jour beneficiary is Almost Home, a group that empowers young moms in the St. Louis area. If you listened to the latest episode of the This Is Silly! podcast, you’ll know that if the season ended today, the Louligans would donate more than $17,000 to its Charity Du Jour beneficiaries.
$1 Draft Beers & Post-Game Fireworks
If you’re thinking about heading out to Soccer Park on Saturday night, you might want to get your tickets in advance. Select concession stands will be offering $1 Budweiser family draft beers and attendees will enjoy post-match fireworks.
Don’t want to drive yourself to Toyota Stadium? Take the Pub 2 Park shuttle. The complimentary shuttle will take you from Mission Taco in Soulard, Amsterdam Tavern or Sugarfire 44 right to Soccer Park and bring you back after the match. For more information and to register for a ride on the shuttle, sponsored by JED Transportation, head over to the Pub 2 Park webpage.
Get your tickets now by heading to SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0997.
P.S. The online auction for the Mission Taco/Saint Louis FC Pride warm-up jerseys ends on June 30th. BID HERE NOW.
Categories: Saint Louis FC