The Rio Grande Valley became official Wednesday as United Soccer League formally
introduced “Rio Grande Valley FC” as its newest franchise. The league’s 25th franchise will
be owned by Alonzo Cantu and operated by the RGV Vipers. Major League Soccer’s Houston
Dynamo will lead soccer operations. The arrangement is similar to the Vipers’ relationship
with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, who control basketball operations for NBA D-League
affiliate RGV. The Monitor reported in March the Vipers had been granted a franchise by the
USL to locate in the Rio Grande Valley. “This is one of the fastest-growing markets. It’s a young
market,” said Jake Edwards, president of USL. “Our fan base is predominantly the millennial
crowd and you’ve got that in spades here.
“This is the Rio Grande Valley’s team. This is a hot-bed for soccer, and this now gives players
here something to aspire to.” RGVFC, which does not yet have a nickname or logo, is
scheduled to begin play in the USL, the strongest US men’s professional soccer league below
MLS, in March. The team will play in a 9,400-seat, soccer-specific stadium that will be built at
the intersection of Freddy Gonzalez and Raul Longoria roads in Edinburg. Officials did not
offer any cost estimates on the new stadium or whether any public money would be included
in the plan.