EDINBURG — Entering Saturday’s match with six draws in seven home contests, the RGV FC Toros came out with a pressing, aggressive mentality, upping the chances of a breakthrough for one side or the other.
And though RGV again got the better of chances and possession, the Toros were yet again unable to claim three points, losing 1-0 to Portland Timbers 2.
“I just feel like it’s enough of the talking, enough talking and doing all this interviews,” RGV FC midfielder Jesus Enriquez said. “I just want to win, and the team wants to win. All we have to do is execute. It’s obvious. All of you guys notice. Everybody, the fans notice. They had one chance, and they put it away. It’s frustrating. We have five, six, seven chances, and the goal isn’t coming. So I think it’s time for us to just step up and execute and finish the game.”
Nearing the halfway mark of the 32-game USL season, RGV FC stands just 1-5-7 for 10 points and a 14th-place standing out of 17 teams in the Western Conference.
Saturday marked RGV FC’s first home loss of the year, evening up the team’s record at H-E-B Park at 1-1-6. The Toros have just one goal in their past five matches.
“The guys up front are doing everything they can to put something away in the back of the net, but it’s tough for them,” Toros defender Kyle Adams said. “We ask a lot of them defensively. … As a team, we just have to keep working away and keep working hard on the practice field and find some goals.”
Portland’s lone score came on the Timbers’ only corner kick of the first half, as captain Josh Phillips sent a header into the right side of the net from the middle of the penalty area in the 14th minute.
“Our player lost his mark, and the guy just headed the ball by himself without him being there, and that’s unacceptable,” Echeverry said. “That’s just poor, because outside of that, what chance did they really have in the first half? It was just bad, and put us in a hole, and right now that made the difference.”
Defending set pieces was a point of emphasis throughout the early part of the season for RGV FC, but the weakness appeared to be shored up as the Toros notched four straight home shutouts from April 25 through May 19.
“You just have to be a little more switched on on those set pieces,” Adams said. “Obviously, soccer is a game of those few moments, and you have to be switched on in those moments that count.”
RGV FC, meanwhile, earned seven corners in the first half and 10 for the game. The Toros also had at least five free-kick opportunities in the offensive half.
Echeverry said RGV FC has converted just one set piece into a goal this season. On Saturday, many of the efforts seemingly failed to account for the wind at the Toros’ back during the first half.
“It’s shocking. It started with the service. The service was poor,” Echeverry said.
The Toros also held a 16-7 advantage in shots and maintained 55.5 percent of possession. RGV FC put two shots on target to Portland’s four.
“You have to be able to serve the crosses well and to the penalty, not over,” Enriquez said. “Not straight to the guy or in front of the ball. Like I said, we just have to finish the plays. We have to take advantage of them, and we haven’t been able to.”
“I don’t think we were that clinical in those opportunities,” Adams said of RGV FC’s set pieces. “We practice them a lot, and we had a few chances where the ball is bouncing around inside the six, and we just have to be a little more hungry and have a little more desire in front of goal to get something on the end of it to put it away.”
RGV FC returns to action with a road match against OKC Energy on June 16 before hosting Phoenix Rising on June 23.