Welcome to the Classic Championship Game of the Day, where today we return to the 2016 season and the origin of the South Texas Derby between San Antonio FC and Rio Grande Valley FC. Both in their inaugural seasons, the sides first met at Toyota Stadium on May 7 in a contest that set the tone for the series that has since unfolded over the past four seasons.
Both teams had gone through the usual early ups and downs of expansion sides, with San Antonio FC having claimed victory in its inaugural outing thanks to a pair of goals by Jason Johnson before alternating draws and losses in its next four outings. SAFC was coming off its second win of the season, however, a 3-1 result against FC Tulsa that had seen Johnson be joined by Rafael Castillo and Dennis Chin on the scoresheet.
The Toros had also picked up a pair of victories in their opening five games of the year, with Bradley Bourgeois and Dzenan Catic finding the net on the road against the Portland Timbers 2 in the first win in club history and Jose Escalante bagging the winner against Real Monarchs SLC. Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera’s side was coming off a 2-0 defeat to defending Western Conference champion the LA Galaxy II as they arrived in San Antonio, however, and was looking to bounce back strongly against its new in-state rival.
The scene is set, so sit back, relax and enjoy a classic clash from the Championship’s history.