HERRIMAN, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC and the New York Red Bulls II played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday night at Zions Bank Stadium as Monarchs goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton saved a penalty kick late in the first half in the decisive moment of the first meeting between the two former USL Championship Final winners.
The Monarchs had an early chance in the eighth minute as Jaziel Orozco connected on the half-volley with a corner kick from Justin Portillo from the right that forced a sharp save by New York’s AJ Marcucci, but the defenses for both sides limited the attacking opportunities on both sides in the opening half-hour. Real went close again in the 34th minute when Malik Johnson controlled well and spun out of pressure just inside the Red Bulls II half before driving forward and playing Charlie Wehan in for another chance, but Marcucci was again equal to the challenge and saved well.
Wehan had another opportunity four minutes before halftime as he fired a shot from 16 yards out toward the top-right corner of the net, only for Marcucci to come up with another impressive save. The first clear chance for the visitors, though, came from the penalty spot as Real’s Danny Flores was whistled for a handball on a free kick a minute before halftime. Mandela Egbo stepped up for the Red Bulls II, but his shot to the right corner was saved by Monarchs goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton to keep the game scoreless at the break.
Real continued to press for the opener in the second half and Marcucci kept out efforts a pair of efforts by Bode Davis, while Aris Briggs steered a finish wide of the left post off a cross by Davis from the right as well. The Red Bulls II also threatened at times, though, and in the 65th minute Jake LaCava almost played Luther Archimede into the penalty area but Slayton came off his line quickly to stifle the opportunity.
The visitors threatened again 10 minutes later as a short corner from the right set up a chance for Jeremy Rafanello at the top of the penalty area for a shot to the right corner that was saved. Egbo also fired just wide of the right post in the 78th minute on a free kick from 25 yards out in the right channel, while the Monarchs had a late chance through Briggs, whose shot from the center of the penalty area to the right corner was saved by Marcucci. Real was reduced to 10 men in second-half stoppage time, though, as Johnson was shown a second yellow card, and the game ended scoreless as the Red Bulls II were eliminated from playoff contention.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jimmy Slayton, Real Monarchs SLC – Slayton’s penalty-kick save late in the first half proved key as he posted a three-save shutout to earn the hosts a point.