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Monarchs Face Republic FC in Playoff Debut

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 10/17/17, 5:21PM EDT

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Regular Season victor opens first postseason against 2014 champion


Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC

SANDY, Utah – The 2017 USL Regular Season Championship-winning Real Monarchs SLC open their first postseason campaign on Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium when No. 8-seed Sacramento Republic FC visits for a Western Conference Quarterfinal clash. #SLCvSAC kicks off at 10 p.m. ET and can be seen live on the USL Match Center.

@RealMonarchs recorded one of the biggest turnarounds in USL history to claim the first silverware of the 2017 regular season, almost doubling their points total from 2016 to finish at the top of the Western Conference. The side’s nine-game winning streak in the first half of the season set a league record as new Head Coach Mark Briggs and a revamped squad took the league by storm. The playoff experience of players like Chandler Hoffman, who led the side with 16 goals and added seven assists, could be key as Real looks to become the third consecutive side to claim both the USL Regular Season Championship and USL Cup.

@SacRepublicFC will be looking for its first USL Cup Playoffs victory since it claimed the championship three seasons ago on Friday night in the first road playoff game in the club’s history. Republic FC was eliminated in the Western Conference Quarterfinals each of the past two seasons on home turf, including an agonizing penalty shootout defeat to Orange County SC when entering as the No. 1-seed a year ago. Now entering as the underdog, Republic FC will need to put it all together if it’s to get past a Monarchs side that won both meetings between the sides this season.

Opta Says

  • 12 – Real Monarchs SLC recorded 12 home victories in the 2017 USL regular season, the most of any team in the league.

  • 2,148 – Sacramento Republic FC midfielder Jeremy Hall was the only player in the USL to record more than 2,000 passes in the 2017 regular season, completing 1,890 of 2,148 passes overall.

Projected Lineups

  • Real Monarchs (5-3-2) – GK: Connor Sparrow; D: Daniel Cruz, James Moberg, Taylor Peay, Emilio Orozco, Max Lachowecki; M: Sebastian Velasquez, Nick Besler, Diego Calvo; F: Chandler Hoffman, Juan Mare

  • Sacramento (4-2-3-1) – GK: Evan Newton; D: Elliot Hord, Chris Christian, Emrah Klimenta, James Kiffe; DM: Jeremy Hall, Agustin Cazarez; AM: Wilson Kneeshaw, Villyan Bijev, Tyler Blackwood; F: Sammy Ochoa

Discipline

  • Real Monarchs – None

  • Sacramento – None

Officials

  • REF: RAMY TOUCHAN

  • AR1: Jacob Herold

  • AR2: Daniel Spicer-Escalante

  • 4TH: Brad Jensen

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