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Toros Take Victory against Rangers

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/13/17, 10:30PM EDT


Wharton scores only goal as RGVFC takes second straight win

Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley FC got a first-half goal by Todd Wharton to earn a 1-0 victory against the Swope Park Rangers on Saturday night at H-E-B Park. Swope Park had more possession, but the Toros (4-3-0, 12pts) looked more threatening in the early going as Jorginho James and Emilio Garcia had shots saved in the opening 15 minutes. RGVFC took the lead in the 18th minute, however, as Eric Bird’s back-heeled pass set up Todd Wharton for a finish to the top-right corner from 16 yards. The Toros carried the lead to the break, but the Rangers (4-3-0, 12pts) almost equalized four minutes into the second half when Kharlton Belmar saw his shot from the edge of the penalty area deflected over the crossbar. Swope Park also went close to an equalizer when Christian Duke forced a save with a low shot toward the left corner, while Amer Didic fired just wide in stoppage time, but the Toros held on to earn the win.

18’ – RGV – Todd Wharton (Eric Bird)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. The Toros earned their second consecutive home victory thanks to a decisive performance that saw a piece of brilliance by Eric Bird unlock the Swope Park defense for the only goal of the game. Bird played a key role in Rio Grand Valley’s victory two weeks ago against OKC Energy FC, and after scoring in that contest he played provider for Todd Wharton against the Rangers, with his heel-flicked pass to set up the opening goal a thing of real beauty.

  • 2. Swope Park has been a consistently patient team, but on Saturday it seemed as though the sense of urgency that was present in its last outing didn’t arrive until into the second half. The Rangers recorded only two shots before the break, and while things improved as the game went on the visitors were again unable to duplicate the success they have had at Children’s Mercy Victory Field. The Rangers are still solidly in the Western Conference top eight, but they’ll want to be better with a home-and-home series with San Antonio coming up next.

  • 3. Moving into H-E-B Park this season, Rio Grande Valley FC wanted its permanent home to be a difficult place for opponents to visit. With three wins out of its past four games on home turf, the Toros are finding the results and the performances they would be hoping for. After winning two out of three against the Rangers a season ago, the Toros continue to also provide a challenging match-up for the defending Western Conference champions. Man of the Match

Eric Bird, Rio Grande Valley FC – Bird provided a magical assist on Todd Wharton’s game-winning goal to lead the Toros to their fourth win of the season.

Upcoming Games:
Rio Grande Valley FC
vs. LA Galaxy II – May 20, 8:30 p.m. ET, H-E-B Park
Swope Park Rangers vs. San Antonio FC – May 26, 8:30 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field

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