TULSA, Oklahoma (Saturday, April 9, 2016) – Saturday started with the news that Real Salt Lake will build a state of the art training facility in Herriman, Utah and continued with RSL’s 1-0 win over Rocky Mountain Cup rivals, the Colorado Rapids. Meanwhile, Real Monarchs SLC was across the country in Tulsa, Oklahoma preparing for their first away match of the season and ready to leave their own mark on this day. With last year's 5-1 defeat in the same building in the players' mind, FW Maikon Orellana continued his blistering scoring record this season to bag the lone goal of the match and give the Monarchs a valuable three points with a 1-0 win over the Tulsa Roughnecks at ONEOK Field.
DF Emilio Orozco and FW Andrew Brody back from their stint with the first team both slotted back into the starting lineup along with RSL players GK Lalo Fernandez and MF Danilo Acosta loaned down for the match. The opening 15 minutes of the match were frantic and devoid of any chances from either side. The blustery winds certainly played a part and both teams needed the opening exchanges to adjust to its effect. It soon became apparent that there were two contrasting styles being played with the Monarchs choosing to get the ball down and play and the Roughnecks reverting to long balls over the top.
The central defensive partnership of Orozco and DF Darion Copeland stood firm with the help of DF Max Lachowecki and DF Tyler Arnone outside of them to keep the opposition at bay. It was Fernandez though who made the save of the match midway through the first half as the Roughnecks managed to swing in a cross that was met by the striker's head and destined for the back of the net before Fernandez made a magnificent reaction save to palm the shot to safety and keep the scores level. As the first half drew to a close there were more fouls than shots which spoke to the quality of the match to that point.
As the second half wore on the Monarchs style started to showcase itself with a sweet passing move which ended up with the ball at MF Alec Sundly's feet about 20 yards from goal. Sundly curled the ball stunningly and was only denied by the Tulsa woodwork after the Tulsa keeper was beaten.
Moments later Fernandez made yet another brilliant save to thwart the Roughnecks from close range, this time making himself as big as possible in the middle of a scramble in the box to block a shot from six yards out.
The ensuing corner saw Fernandez pluck it out of the air while being impeded by the Roughnecks forward Sammy Ochoa. A scuffle between both sets of players ensued with Ochoa being ejected in the skirmish.
With the man advantage, the Monarchs began to boss possession and the match.
First, Orellana struck a shot off the volley that was blocked and then Rolfe turned and shot well only to force a smart save by the Tulsa keeper. The pressure told halfway through the second half as Orellana finished a splendid interplay that he started with a strike into the bottom right corner. Orellana continues his rich vein of form with his third goal in three matches this season and his second match-winner.
Orellana cut in from the left with pace and fed MF Ricardo Velazco at the top of the box who took a touch and returned the pass to Orellana, unmarked on the left of the Tulsa box ready to finish superbly.
With the 1-0 lead the Monarchs settled and remained well organized for the remainder of the 90 minutes. Some heroic defending from Arnone late preserved the slender advantage and the Monarchs registered their first win on the road this season, already equalling last year's total.
The win puts them on seven points through three matches. Coupled with RSL's victory in the Rocky Mountain Cup and today's momentous announcement it proved to be a great day for all involved with the organization.
Next up for the Monarchs is a match at Utah Valley University’s Clyde Field against Arizona United.
REAL MONARCHS 1-0 TULSA ROUGHNECKS
SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2016
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 0 1 1
Tulsa Roughnecks 0 0 0
RM: Maikon Orellana 65’
TUL: Sammy Ochoa (Ejection; Fight) 59’
TUL: Iarfhlaith Davoren (Caution; Foul) 90’
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Lalo Fernandez; Tyler Arnone (Riley McGovern 89’), Emilio Orozco, Darion Copeland, Max Lachowecki; Alec Sundly, Danilo Acosta (Lennon Celestino 80’); Andrew Brody, Ricardo Velazco (Amass Amankona 89’), Maikon Orellana (Eti Tavares 85’); Colin Rolfe (Kevaughn Frater 83’).
Substitutes not used: Connor Sparrow, Jun-Gyeong Park.
Tulsa Roughnecks (4-4-2): Alex Mangels; Gary Cennerazzo, Matt Whatley, Mason Grimes, Raymond Lee (Carlos Martinez 78’); Adriano Pellegrino (Brady Ballew 55’), Henri (Kalleem 78’), Ballobi (David Abidor 18’), Iarfhlaith Davoren; Taylor Morgan, Sammy Ochoa.
Substitutes not used: Jake Feener, Cristian Mata, Jasson Ramos Carpio.
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Crockett, Matt Trotter
Fourth Official: Jose Lara