Herriman, Utah (Friday, April 29, 2022) –In its return to Zions Bank Stadium, Real Monarchs (0-3-2, 2 points) fell to St. Louis City 2 (4-1-0, 12 points) 2-0 in the two clubs’ first-ever meeting.

New signing Golden Mafwenta made his first appearance for the Monarchs while goalkeeper Tomas Gomez had another strong showing in goal with five saves. 

In St. Louis City 2’s first ever visit to Zions Bank Stadium, the two clubs found themselves in the trenches for much of the first half. Both sides split possession and shots with the majority of play being in the middle of the field. The best opportunity for the Monarchs came in the 21st minute on a freekick from defender Mafwenta that went just wide. As the half came to a close, it seemed as if St. Louis was gaining momentum, but some key saves from goalkeeper Tomas Gomez kept the score level at 0-0 going into halftime. 

At the opening of the second half the match continued to be evenly matched with both sides seeing opportunities, yet unable to find the back of the net. In the 67th minute, St. Louis nearly found the first goal of the match when midfielder Vitor Diaz curled a shot from point-blank range but Gomez was able to make the diving save. 

St. Louis City 2 kept the pressure on and broke through in the 76th minute with a goal from forward Josh Dolling. Midfielder Wan Kuzain fired a shot off the crossbar which bounced to fellow midfielder Sergio Rivas. Rivas flicked it onto Dolling who fired a half-scissor kick into the top-right corner for the eventual game winner. As the match came to a close, Dolling found the back of the net again. As the ball bounced around the box in the 90th minute, Dolling was able to settle the ball and fire a shot into the top-right corner to secure the brace and the 2-0 win. 

UP NEXT: Real Monarchs head back on the road for a two-game road swing, first at Sporting Kansas City II on Sunday, May 8 at 12:00 p.m. MT before returning to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Tacoma Defiance for the second time this season on Sunday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. MT. The Monarchs will return to Zions Bank Stadium for Pride Night, facing North Texas SC on Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. MT. 

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:

STL: Josh Dolling (Sergio Rivas) 83rd Minute: After Wan Kuzain’s volley slammed off the crossbar, the ball fell to Sergio Rivas who laid it off to Dolling. Dolling’s right-footed volley found the top-right corner to open the scoring. 

STL: Josh Dolling 90th Minute: As the ball bounced around in the box, Dolling was able to secure the ball and fire a shot into the top-right corner again for the brace. 

NOTES: 

-Tonight’s match marks the return of the Club’s in-house broadcast with Landon Southwick and Tom Hackett for the first time since the transition from USL Championship to MLS NEXT Pro.

-Defender Golden Mafwenta made his first start for Real Monarchs against St. Louis City 2 since signing with the club earlier this week on April 27. 

-Midfielder Tyrone Mondi also made his first start of the season after making his debut last week against Timbers 2. RSL Academy products Gabriel Oksanen and Abokye Biyeombe also made their first starts in MLS NEXT Pro against St. Louis City 2, replacing the injured Julio Benitez and Bobby Pierre.Meanwhile, defender Aldo Carmona made his professional debut when he came on as a substitute in the 86th minute for Abokye Bikyeombe.

- Real Monarchs’ starting XI against STL2 had an average age of 20 years old, the oldest the team has fielded this season. Tomas Gomez was the oldest at 28 years old while Abokye Bikyeombe was the youngest at 16.

- 10 of the 15 players available for the Monarchs during Friday’s match against STL2 were current or former RSL Academy products.

- For the first time since October 9, 2019 Zions Bank Stadium welcome over 2,000 fans into its doors. 

Match: Real Monarchs vs St. Louis City 2

Date: April 29, 2022

Venue: Zions Bank Stadium

Weather: 52 and clear 

Attendance: 2,253

Scoring Summary:     1     2     F 

Real Monarchs        0     0     0

St. Louis City 2        0      2    2

STL: Josh Dolling (Sergio Rivas) 83’
STL: Josh Dolling 90’

Lineups:

Real Monarchs (4-3-3): Tomas Gomez, Gabriel Oksanen (Ethan Zamora, 83’), Golden Mafwenta, Christian Nydegger, Marcus Vasquez, Abokye Bikyeombe (Aldo Carmona, 86’), Izzy Amparo(Jude Wellings, 83’), Tyrone Mondi, Pierre Reedy, Yekeson Subah (Jack Imperato, 62’), Pedro Fonseca

Subs not used: Blake Kelly

STL2 (4-3-3): Michael Creek, Ezra Armstrong (Kwame Awuah, 62’) , Ben Di Rosa (Sergio Rivas, 62’), Kyle Hiebert, Joshua Yaro, Akil Watts, Alex Palazzolo (Karson Gibbs 90 +2’), Wan Kuzain (Aaron Heard, 85’), Celio Martins (Miguel Perez, 85’), Vitor Diaz, Josh Dolling 

Subs not used: Ian McGrane, Fritz Volnar, Jack Wagoner

Stats Summary: STL / RM

Shots: 16 / 4

Shots on Goal: 7 / 1

Saves: 1 / 5

Corner Kicks: 3 / 1

Fouls: 15 / 8

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:

STL: AJ Palazzolo (caution) 64’

RM: Jude Wellings (caution) 86’

OFFICIALS:

Referee: Joshua Encarnacion

Assistant Referees: Karsten Gillwald, Joshua Mills

4th Official: Jordan Downs