Rio Grande Valley FC, the USL Championship hybrid affiliate of the Houston Dynamo, announced its roster as the team begins its preseason training in Houston.
Returning from the 2018 Toros roster are DF Conor Donovan, FW Carlos Small, MF Jesus Enriquez, DF Kyle Adams, FW Aldo Quintanilla, GK Nico Corti, DF Robert Castellanos, MF Romilio Hernandez, FW Camilo Monroy, FW Andres Cabrera, MF David Cabrera and MF Brandon Morales.
“We are pleased to return the core of our team from last year and happy to have a good starting point and foundation to build off for 2019,” said Dynamo Assistant General Manager Nick Kowba. “With the continuity between the staff and returning players, along with the new signings, we will be in a good position to compete in USL and continue to develop young players for the Dynamo.”
Donovan rejoins the Toros on a new contract after playing in 27 games last season before signing with the Dynamo. The defender began his MLS career with Orlando City SC after one year at North Carolina State. Last year, he saw action in Houston’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship run and played the full 90 minutes and scored his first goal for the club in the 2018 BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup against C.F. Monterrey.
Small rejoins the Toros on loan from Árabe Unido for the 2019 season. He tied with Quintanilla with five goals in only 910 minutes a year ago. The Panamanian has made three appearances with the full national team and has scored two goals at the senior international level.
Enriquez led the team in goals (six), assists (six) and appearances (31) in 2018, while Adams started 24 of his 25 appearances and finished fourth on the team with 2,146 minutes played.
Quintanilla finished second on the team with five goals in 22 appearances and also scored two goals for the Dynamo in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against NTX Rayados.
Corti signed a new contract after keeping six clean sheets in 30 starts for the Toros last season, while Castellanos saw action in eight games with five starts and averaged nearly six clearances per game started. Hernandez joined the team late in the year and made three appearances.
Monroy saw action in one game last season as he recovered from a torn ACL suffered at the end of the 2017 Season. David Cabrera signed a contract with RGV after making two starts for the Toros last season following a four-year collegiate career at South Dakota School of Mines.
Andres Cabrera, who has played for the Houston Dynamo and IMG Academy, joins the Toros on an Academy contract for the 2019 season. Prior to joining to Toros Andres played at the IMG Academy where he earned MVP Honors as the team’s leading scorer. He made 14 appearances with 11 starts for RGV in 2018.
Morales also signed with the Toros on an Academy contract. He was part of the inaugural class for RGV FC Academy and IDEA Toros and becomes the first RGVFC Academy player to sign with the Toros. He spent his junior and senior year at IDEA Toros. During his spell with the RGV FC Academy, Morales was acting captain and had the opportunity to participate at the NCAA showcase in Houston, IMG Cup Super Group, and the Dallas Cup.
“We are very pleased on how this preseason is going,” said RGV FC Head Coach Gerson Echeverry. “Our returners were very eager to push the group in a positive direction from day one. Additionally, our new signings are looking strong and ready to contribute from the start.”
MF Maalique Foster joins RGV FC on loan from Alajuelense in Costa Rica’s Primera Division. The 22-year-old has made more than 60 appearances as a full professional and has already earned three caps for the Jamaican national team, scoring on his international debut against South Korea on Jan. 30, 2018.
Additionally, RGV FC have signed six players to new contracts, pending league and federation approval. DF Zach Jackson and MF Carlos Viveros were signed to new contracts ahead of the start of the year. Jackson was signed as a Dynamo Academy product after a standout four-year career at right back for Furman University. Viveros, a Katy native, starred at Eastern New Mexico University for four years and entered the Dynamo’s developmental pipeline through the annual Dynamo Trials and played for Brazos Valley Cavalry in the Premier Development League.
RGV FC have signed six players to new contracts, pending league and federation approval.
Additional player transactions will be announced in the coming days at RGV FC continues to fill out its roster ahead of the 2019 campaign.
The Toros will kick off the 2019 USL Championship season on Saturday, March 9 at Seattle Sounders 2, and will play their home opener at H-E-B Stadium in Edinburg the following week, March 16, against Fresno FC.
TRANSACTION: The RGV FC Toros exercised options on DF Kyle Adams, DF Robert Castellanos, MF Jesus Enriquez, MF Romilio Hernandez, FW Camilo Monroy and FW Aldo Quintanilla; signed FW Andres Cabrera, MF David Cabrera, GK Nico Corti, DF Conor Donovan, DF Zach Jackson, MF Brandon Morales and MF Carlos Viveros; and added FW Carlos Small on loan from Árabe Unido and FW Maalique Foster on loan from Alajualense.