Real Monarchs

Luna Scores Brace in 5-1 Rout

Man of the Match: **Diego Luna**, in his first game with the Monarchs this season, scored the team’s first goal in front of the home crowd during the 2023 campaign. Luna was influential in the Monarchs’ dominance in possession, linking in the midfield and creating opportunities in the attacking third. Luna added another goal in the 74th minute after shaking off a defender inside the box and powering it home, giving the Monarchs the definitive lead. The Homegrown star also found ways to set up his teammates, assisting **Ilijah Paul** in the 80th minute, the team’s fourth goal of the match.

Telling Stats: The win marks the first time in MLS NEXT Pro competition that the Monarchs have come from behind to earn all three points in a match. It is also the first time this season that the team has scored multiple goals in one match. The Monarchs have now scored four or more goals against Timbers 2 in their last three meetings at Zions Bank Stadium, outscoring the Portland side 13-3. 

What You Missed: The Monarchs controlled a majority of the possession in the first half, leading to several chances on net. It was the visitors, however, that opened the scoring, after Bobby Pierre committed a foul inside the box which setup Tega Ikoba to convert from the penalty spot in the 11th minute. Following the halftime break, the Monarchs continued their fluid play, building from the back through the midfield and applying pressure on the Timbers backline. In the 65th minute, Diego Luna connected on a 1-2 pass with Ilijah Paul before dribbling into the box and firing a left-footed shot which deflected off the Portland goalkeeper’s hand and into the top corner. Nine minutes later it was Luna again, this time picking up the rebound inside the box and shaking a defender before powering it past the keeper to take the lead. The goals kept coming for Jamison Olave’s squad, as Tyrone Mondi set up **Terron Williams** for a tap-in in the 76th. Luna and Paul would connect again in the 80th minute as Luna placed a perfect freekick to find Paul’s head for the fourth goal of the evening. Mondi added his name to the scorers sheet in stoppage time to put the nail in the coffin in a 5-1 win, the Club’s largest margin of victory this season.

What’s Next?: The Monarchs will host division opponent Tacoma Defiance this Friday, May 5 at 8:00 pm M.T. for its second-consecutive home match at Zions Bank Stadium