Photo courtesy Real Monarchs SLC
SANDY, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC scored in either half as it took a 2-0 victory against Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium, earning its second consecutive win of the season. Rising FC almost took the lead inside the opening five minutes when a poor back-pass by the Monarchs left an opening, but the ball spun out of the reach of Omar Bravo. The Monarchs then had a big opportunity just before the half-hour mark as Chase Minter’s low shot was denied by Phoenix’s Josh Cohen. Real’s Sebastian Velasquez also forced a good save by Cohen two minutes before the break with a fierce shot from 25 yards, but the hosts took the lead in stoppage time when Minter was brought down in the area and Chandler Hoffman converted from the penalty spot. The Monarchs’ Andrew Brody just failed to connect on an attempted chip midway through the second half, but the midfielder set up Omar Holness for the Monarchs’ second with 14 minutes to go which sealed the win for the hosts.
45+’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (penalty kick)
76’ – SLC – Omar Holness (Andrew Brody)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Monarchs attacking chemistry grew throughout the first half, and it ended up resulting in a halftime lead as Chandler Hoffman converted from the penalty spot. At the center of the creativity was Chase Minter, who put in a solid performance down then left side as he aimed to stretch the Phoenix defense by getting in behind, but also made smart decisions when he got into the final third. Minter could have opened the scoring himself but for a good save by Phoenix’s Josh Cohen, and created three scoring chances before being substituted on the hour-mark.
2. Phoenix came close to finding the net when the Monarchs were poor at the back, giving the visitors a chance to capitalize on defensive mistakes, but when it came to creating chances of their own Rising FC seemed out of sync. Phoenix completed fewer than 50 percent of its passes in the Monarchs’ half of the field during the game as Omar Bravo was generally starved for service. Shaun Wright-Phillips proved an exception, but he and Bravo had only three touches in the penalty area in the contest, which has to improve.
3. Omar Holness’ goal to cap the Monarchs’ victory was a great moment for the young Jamaican, and rounded out a fine end to a busy week for the team. With the appointment of Mark Briggs as the Monarchs’ new Head Coach after Mike Petke’s appointment to the same position with Real Salt Lake, earning a second consecutive victory to start the season showed the continuity the side had been able to build in the new coaching staff’s time together. Real will look to continue their progress in midweek with a visit from Reno to the RioT.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Chase Minter, Real Monarchs SLC – Minter was a threat for the opening hour of the game, and drew the penalty kick that opened the scoring in a fine overall display.
Real Monarchs SLC vs. Reno 1868 FC – April 6, 9 p.m. ET, Rio Tinto Stadium
Phoenix Rising FC vs. LA Galaxy II – April 8, 10:30 p.m. ET, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex