Through a restructuring of its affiliate partnership with Houston Dynamo FC, Rio Grande Valley FC will manage all aspects of soccer operations and compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in 2021. | Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – Houston Dynamo FC and Rio Grande Valley FC announced on Wednesday that the two organizations had agreed to restructure their affiliate partnership.
Under the new arrangement, RGVFC will manage all aspects of soccer operations for the Toros, including player selection along with coaching and technical staff decisions. RGVFC will begin the process of selecting a new head coach immediately.
The new structure is in line with traditional partnership relationships in place across America between clubs in Major League Soccer (MLS) and the United Soccer League (USL). The restructured partnership also includes the option to extend the agreement beyond the current term, which runs through the 2021 MLS and USL seasons.
As a result of the restructured affiliate relationship, the Toros will be eligible to compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in 2021. The agreement also maintains a direct pathway to Major League Soccer and a first-division career for players on the Toros’ roster.
“The next era of our valuable relationship with Houston Dynamo FC is exciting for both clubs. The Valley deserves a winning team and this new chapter in the partnership between these two great organizations can help us all accomplish our goals,” said Rio Grande Valley FC President Ron Patel. “I'm extremely appreciative of all the hard work John Walker, Matt Jordan, Nick Kowba and all of the Dynamo staff have put into this and will continue to do into the future. This partnership is a 'Win' for both clubs and for the people of the Rio Grande Valley!”
Former Rio Grande Valley FC player Memo Rodriguez is among the players currently featuring for Houston Dynamo FC after finding success with the Toros. | Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC
“The COVID-19 pandemic created a number of challenges for both of our clubs this year on and off the pitch, and that led us all to reevaluate the nature of the partnership going forward,” said Houston Dynamo FC President John Walker. “It has been a long process to get to this point, but thanks to the leadership of Ron Patel at RGV FC, we were able to work out an agreement that sets both organizations up for success going forward.”
Houston Dynamo FC will continue to hold the MLS affiliate rights to all players under contract with RGV FC; and both clubs will continue to have the ability to loan players to one another for individual games or for longer durations during the MLS and USL seasons.
“Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and the challenges it has presented, we’ve had to work as partners to allow both clubs to focus on our primary objectives,” said Houston Dynamo FC Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement to restructure our affiliation with RGV FC while continuing to provide a platform for our players to gain crucial experience in a professional and highly competitive environment. We take a tremendous amount of pride in this partnership and look forward to continuing to help the growth of the game in the Rio Grande Valley.”
Over the first five years of the partnership, 12 players have been signed to the Houston Dynamo FC roster after first playing for the Toros. Additionally, another 37 players have seen minutes for RGVFC while on loan from Houston.
The 2021 league schedules for both Major League Soccer and the USL Championship are expected to be released early next year.