Real Monarchs

Gennaro Nigro Stands Out in 1-0 Loss to LAFC 2 

Real Monarchs 0 vs 1 Los Angeles FC 2

May 21, 2023; Zions Bank Stadium; Herriman, Utah_Real Monarchs (3-6-0, 9 points); LAFC 2 (1-4-3, 6 points)_

Man of the Match: Gennaro Nigro established his veteran presence in the Monarchs squad, leading vocally and by example in the close 1-0 loss. In addition to playing solid defense on the backline, Nigro was also a part of multiple offensive opportunities throughout the 90 minutes. He asserted himself from box-to-box and delivered a handful of curling passes with precision in attempts to set up his teammates on goal. 

Telling Stats: The match marks the first time ever that these two teams have faced each other since LAFC 2’s inception in MLS NEXT Pro this year. The win is also the Black and Gold’s first of the season. The Monarchs have now been held scoreless through 210 minutes, dating back to Duncan Jarvie’s goal in the 60th minute against Tacoma Defiance on May 5. The team has been shutout five times in nine matches so far this season. 

What You Missed: Former Real Monarchs player Yekeson Subah scored the match’s first goal for the newly founded LAFC 2, slotting a ball past goalkeeper Blake Kelly in the 10th minute after collecting an attempted clearance in the box off the foot of Omar Alba. The Monarchs struggled to maintain any possession in the attacking third during the first half. 10 minutes after the break, Julian Vazquez served a perfect ball onto the head of Bobby Pierre, but his header flew over the crossbar. Kelly was called upon in the 61st minute, making a big save as he dove to his right and one-handed the ball over the bar. Ilijah Paul found himself unmarked in a dangerous position in the 65th minute, but his shot sailed wide of the target. The Monarchs managed a few half-chances through the remainder of the match but were unable to find an equalizer. 

What’s Next?: The Monarchs hit the road next week, traveling to Rock Chalk Park to take on Sporting Kansas City II on Friday, May 26 at 6:00 pm MT. The team will then head to the Lone Star state to take on Austin FC II on June 2, before returning home to Zion’s Bank Stadium on June 9 as they host LA Galaxy II.