As Sounders FC 2 prepare to face Rio Grande Valley FC there may also be non-soccer conversations between the two organizations. The Toros are owned by an NBA D-League team, but their soccer operations are the responsibility of the Houston Dynamo. If this concept sounds familiar, it is what could happen to S2 if the Tacoma Rainiers buy into ownership and build a stadium down in the South Sound.
Sounder at Heart chatted with Carson from Dynamo Theory about Tuesday's USL opponent, with a focus on their off-field situation. It is notable that RGVFC will have a stadium built in less than a year. It will seat 9,600 in a region of over a million people.
SaH: What are the advantages to the local community in having the Rio Grande Valley Vipers run business operations?
DT: The Vipers organization is a proven commodity. They have a great track record in the D League and in that region. The top Vipers brass understands how that community works and in turn, the community knows the type of top product that ownership group puts on the court/field.
SaH: Do they have any influence over which players are signed?
DT: The Dynamo front office controls all soccer aspects of the team. Obviously that includes player signings, as well as putting a technical staff in place. The ownership group runs the day to day and gameday operations of the club, as well as obviously marketing, social media, etc.
SaH: Without local talent, what is the main draw for locals?
DT: The Rio Grande Valley is an incredibly soccer driven area. It's proximity to the Mexican border contributes to a very large Latino population that grew up fans of the beautiful game. They have local colleges, but a pro team to call their own is a different ballgame. Also, a lot of people in the Valley are Dynamo fans, so being able to see players that will potentially move on to the first team or that they've seen grow through the Academy is exciting. And you have to factor in what I said previously about the dedication to this area by Alonzo Cantu and the Vipers ownership to cater to it's people, and make for an exciting gameday experience and fan interactions with the club.
SaH: Could the Dynamo have gotten a USL stadium on their own?
DT: I'll be candid, I do not have any insight on that. What I can tell you is the stadium in Edinburg will be state of the art and the club reports it should be ready to go by the home opener in a couple weeks.
SaH: Which player(s) should an S2 fan focus on?
DT: Jose Escalante, a Honduran international who gave the Timbers 2 defenders fits all night in his season debut.
Bradley Bourgeois, a loanee from Houston, who is crazy athletic and plays endline to endline. B Twice is also the man who scored the first ever RGVFC goal.
Memo Rodriguez, a Dynamo Homegrown Product who leads the club in shots and shots on goal. He has narrowly missed on his first goal a handful of times this season, I would expect one to find the net soon.