Rio Grande Valley FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Wilmer Cabrera brought aboard fellow Colombian Juan Galindrez as the club’s latest signing on Wednesday, adding another attacking piece to a squad that will take aim at a third consecutive postseason berth this year.
It’s a signing that makes a good deal of sense.
The 28-year-old has been prolific at the USL League One level for the past two seasons. His 24 goals in 57 appearances across the regular season and playoffs rank second only to three-time League One MVP Emiliano Terzaghi.
His strike rate of a goal every 125 minutes also ranks third behind current San Diego Loyal SC forward Evan Conway (96.8) and South Georgia Tormenta FC’s Kazaiah Sterling (111.2) among players with at least 10 goals across the two seasons.
Additionally, his underlying numbers are solid as well (21.03xG, 22.6% conversion rate), giving reason for optimism that Galindrez can give the Toros some additional attacking punch.
There’s another thing, though, that makes the move a logical one for the Toros – the success with which Ricky Ruiz and Jonathan Ricketts navigated the same path over the past 12 months.
Former Chattanooga Red Wolves SC midfielder Ricky Ruiz recorded seven assists and 44 chances created in his first season in the USL Championship, helping Rio Grande Valley FC to a postseason berth. | Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley F
Both Ruiz and Ricketts arrived in the Rio Grande Valley from Chattanooga last offseason and became central players in the club’s success. Ruiz not only led the Toros with seven assists and tied for the team-lead with 44 chances created, but according to American Soccer Analysis delivered the highest Goals Added mark on the team at +7.31.
Ricketts, meanwhile, joined Ruiz in the top four in minutes played at the club, and led the side in interceptions (59), tackles won (48 at a 76.1% success rate) and duels won (210 at a 59.% success rate). On a back line that also included Championship All-League Second Team selection Wahab Ackwei, the 25-year-old became a solid piece for Cabrera’s squad.
As the Toros look for a player who can become a double-digit goalscorer – something that’s only happened on three occasions between Elvis Amoh (2021), Frank Lopez (2019) and Michael Salazar (2019) in the club’s seven-season history – Galindrez has the makings of being an impact player in his new surroundings.