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What’s the greatest goal in South Texas Derby history?

By Staff, 08/15/23, 11:00AM EDT


Ahead of the renewal of the rivalry between San Antonio FC and Rio Grande Valley FC, pick your favorite goal from each side in the series

Juan Carlos Azocar, Cristian Parano, Jose Escalante and Lance Laing have all had brilliant individual moments in the South Texas Derby's history ahead of Wednesday's 25th edition of the rivalry.

The 25th edition of the South Texas Derby will come to the national airwaves on Wednesday night when defending USL Championship title holder San Antonio FC hosts Rio Grande Valley FC in one of the league’s fiercest rivalries on ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET).

Beginning with both clubs’ arrival in the USL Championship in 2016, the rivalry has tilted back and forth each season. Currently, San Antonio holds the edge in wins with a 10-6-8 record, but the nature of the series is reflected in the overall goal differential – San Antonio has a 36-31 edge in goals – and the late drama the contests have produced.

Add the current Copa Tejas standings, where SAFC and the Toros are tied on four points apiece having each taken a win and a draw against El Paso Locomotive FC previously this season, and we appear set for another exciting night in the series’ history.

To set the stage, it’s time to pick the best goal each side has scored in the series so far. We’ve picked four from each club, you get to vote ahead of kickoff as to which claims the current crown on each side. 

Rio Grande Valley FC

Rob Lovejoy, Rio Grande Valley FC – May 7, 2016

The inaugural edition of the South Texas Derby got things out to a flying start at Toyota Field, when Rob Lovejoy’s stoppage-time winner from 25 yards grabbed a 3-2 victory for the Toros after San Antonio had rallied from two goals down to level with less than 10 minutes to go.

Jose Escalante, Rio Grande Valley FC – Sept. 23, 2017

The Honduran produced a brilliant game-winner late in the 2017 regular season for the Toros with a left-footed chip from the left side of the penalty area that floated in at the far post to give the visitors a 1-0 win.

Christian Sorto, Rio Grande Valley FC – May 16, 2021

The future El Salvador international made the most of the space he created on the left wing, cutting inside to the top-left edge of the penalty area before firing home a low shot into the bottom-right corner for the winner in a 2-1 victory at H-E-B Park.

Juan Carlos Azocar, Rio Grande Valley FC – May 29, 2021

The Venezuelan forward brought late dramatics at Toyota Field with a spectacular bicycle kick in the 89th minute to equalize for the visitors. Two years on, Azocar is now on San Antonio’s side as this rivalry renews.

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San Antonio FC

Lance Laing, San Antonio FC – August 29, 2018

As back-and-forth as the South Texas Derby has been, there has been only one game in which San Antonio rallied for victory. Lance Laing’s superb, curled finish provided the game-winner at H-E-B Park in a 3-1 win for the visitors.

Cristian Parano, San Antonio FC – August 17, 2019

The Argentine won the Championship’s Young Player of the Year award in 2019 due to his overall production, but also because of pieces of imagination like this. Parano’s incredible chipped finish with the outside of his left boot from the right side of the penalty area is a jaw-dropper.

Luis Solignac, San Antonio FC – August 28, 2020

Solignac had a hand in starting and finishing this great team move, which saw the Argentine shield possession before dropping it off and making a run to the top of the six-yard area to meet the cross of Blake Smith with a diving header.

Mitchell Taintor, San Antonio FC – August 20, 2022

In another example of late-game drama between these sides, Taintor produced a remarkable header off Mohamed Abu’s stoppage-time free kick from a narrow angle on the left that looped into the right side of the net to grab SAFC a 2-2 draw at Toyota Field.

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