Houston Dynamo FC and Rio Grande Valley FC announced today that the two organizations have agreed to restructure their affiliate partnership moving forward.
Under the new arrangement, RGV FC will manage all aspects of soccer operations for the Toros, including player selection along with coaching and technical staff decisions. RGV FC will begin the process of selecting a new head coach immediately.
The new structure is in line with traditional affiliate relationships in place across America between clubs in Major League Soccer (MLS) and the United Soccer League (USL). The restructured partnership also includes the option to extend the agreement beyond the current term, which runs through the 2021 MLS and USL seasons.
“The COVID-19 pandemic created a number of challenges for both of our clubs this year on and off the pitch, and that led us all to reevaluate the nature of the partnership going forward,” said Houston Dynamo FC President John Walker. “It has been a long process to get to this point, but thanks to the leadership of Ron Patel at RGV FC, we were able to work out an agreement that sets both organizations up for success going forward.”
Houston Dynamo FC will continue to hold the MLS affiliate rights to all players under contract with RGV FC; and both clubs will continue to have the ability to loan players to one another for individual games or for longer durations during the MLS and USL seasons.
“Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and the challenges it has presented, we’ve had to work as partners to allow both clubs to focus on our primary objectives,” said Houston Dynamo FC Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement to restructure our affiliation with RGV FC while continuing to provide a platform for our players to gain crucial experience in a professional and highly competitive environment. We take a tremendous amount of pride in this partnership and look forward to continuing to help the growth of the game in the Rio Grande Valley.”
As a result of the restructured affiliate relationship, RGV FC will be eligible to compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in 2021. The agreement also maintains a direct pathway to Major League Soccer and a first-division career for players on the RGV FC roster.
"The next era of our valuable relationship with Houston Dynamo FC is exciting for both clubs. The Valley deserves a winning team and this new chapter in the partnership between these two great organizations can help us all accomplish our goals,” said Rio Grande Valley FC President Ron Patel. “I'm extremely appreciative of all the hard work John Walker, Matt Jordan, Nick Kowba and all of the Dynamo staff have put into this and will continue to do into the future. This partnership is a 'Win' for both clubs and for the people of the Rio Grande Valley!"
Over the first five years of the partnership, 12 players have been signed to the Houston Dynamo FC roster after first playing for the Toros. Additionally, another 37 players have seen minutes for RGV FC while on loan from Houston.
The 2021 league schedules for both MLS and the USL Championship are expected to be released early next year.