EDINBURG, Texas – Defender Kai Greene and midfielder Todd Wharton will return to lead Rio Grande Valley FC into the new season, with the Toros also announcing on Thursday the addition of former U.S. U20 international Conor Donovan as the club unveiled 10 players that will suit up at H-E-B Park this season. The signings are pending league and federation approval.
Greene and midfielder Nicolás Perea signed new contracts with the Toros, while defender Omar Ontiveros, forward Francisco Pungo and Wharton each had contract options exercised following the 2017 USL season. Both Greene and Wharton have been cornerstones for the club in its first two seasons, having helped lead the Toros to the USL Cup Playoffs in 2016.
In addition to Donovan, the Toros also added goalkeepers Nico Corti and Matt Sanchez, defender Kyle Adams and forward Jesus Enriquez.
“Our staff is very excited about our returning veteran players and the new additions to the roster,” said new RGVFC Head Coach Gerson Echeverry. “I believe this is a group of talented players that are willing to work hard and play entertaining soccer for our fans here in the Valley.”
Greene has made 50 appearances over two seasons for the Toros, and this past season led the club with 168 duels won and 73 tackles won. He also recorded 75 clearances and 51 interceptions, and joined the Toros MLS partner the Houston Dynamo for two games during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He is reunited with Echeverry, who was Greene’s collegiate coach at Seton Hall University.
Wharton made 31 appearances for the Toros a season ago, notching one goal and three assists for the club while recording an 87.8 percent passing accuracy rate on 40.6 passes per 90 minutes. A former standout at the University of Virginia and for the Premier Development League’s Portland Timbers U-23s, Wharton recorded 22 key passes in the 2017 season.
Donovan arrives at the club after three seasons with Orlando City SC, during which time he made 35 appearances in the USL for Orlando City B. A member of the United States U20 squad for the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, Donovan was a Generation adidas signing coming out of North Carolina State for the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
“We’re excited to add all of these players to the RGVFC roster as we prepare for the 2018 USL season. Each player brings unique skills, but the common thread among them is that they all have the ability to develop into quality players in Major League Soccer,” said Dynamo Assistant General Manager Nick Kowba. “We are looking forward to building a team that will not only be entertaining and competitive on the field this season, but will continue to provide a pipeline of talent for the Dynamo first team as well.”