PORTLAND, Oregon (Saturday, March 25, 2017) – Real Monarchs began the 2017 campaign in fine fashion with a 2-1 win on the road against Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday. In a cagey opener, MF Nick Besler’s second-half goal proved to be the difference, earning Mike Petke his first win as Head Coach for the USL club.
The season started with the third-year club humming offensively as MF Chase Minter nearly opened the scoring in the 10th minute. MF Sebastian Velasquez spotted the winger open near the penalty spot, and even though the cross took a deflection, Minter redirected it on frame. Rennico Clarke covered defensively to see the chance out for a corner.
On the ensuing set piece, DF James Moberg rose unmarked on the far post to nod home his first career goal, with MF Charlie Adams assisting the defender from the corner.
The Monarchs continued to apply the pressure during the first half, but found their second after the halftime break.
Adams delivered another perfect corner that caught Besler in stride making a run down the middle. On a one-hop, the ex- Timbers 2 midfielder controlled the ball with his chest and powered it home from four yards out.
Timbers 2 scored their goal on a bit of miscommunication from the Monarchs back line. GK Andrew Putna’s distribution struck DF Emilio Orozco in the back of the leg and Augustine Williams was quick to pounce on the mistake 25 yards out and caught Putna off his line for the goal to make it 2-1.
But when Real needed him most, Putna came up huge, denying Portland an equalizer in the waning moments of stoppage time and securing the three points.
UP NEXT: The Monarchs will return to Sandy for Week 2 in their 2017 Home Opener against Phoenix Rising FC at Rio Tinto Stadium (4:00 p.m. MT, Saturday). The Arizona club took the season series in 2016, going 3-0-1 against Real. Rising FC feature a bevy of international experience, led by former Chivas de Guadalajara and Mexico stalwart Omar Bravo.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RM – James Moberg (Charlie Adams), 11th minute: After nearly bulging the net through Chase Minter, the ensuing corner kick served fruitful for the Monarchs. James Moberg met a Charlie Adams corner kick on the far post. Unmarked from six yards out, Moberg nodded it right into the ground and past a diving Kendall McIntosh.
RM — Nick Besler (Charlie Adams), 48th minute: Again, Real found success from a corner kick. Adams whipped an in-swinger into the six. Nick Besler controlled a bouncing ball with his chest and smashed it home from four yards away.
POR — Augustine Williams, 64th minute: Goalkeeper Andrew Putna tried to roll the ball out, but his distribution struck defender Emilio Orozco in the back of the leg 25 yards away from goal. Augustine Williams took advantage of the deflection as he caught Putna off his line with the goal exposed.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
POR — Rennico Clarke, 10th minute: Monarchs midfielder Sebastian Velasquez spotted Chase Minter open on the left side. McIntosh got a paw to the cross, but it fell well enough for Minter to take a half volley. Clarke alertly covered the far post and guided the shot off the back stick and out for a corner kick.
RM — Chandler Hoffman, 16th minute: Monarchs defender Max Lachowecki made a foray forward and slipped Chandler Hoffman in behind the defense inside the 18-yard-box. Hoffman’s left footed shot was inches away from tucking inside the far side netting.
POR — Kyle Bjornethun, 20th minute: Monarchs midfielder Andrew Brody corralled a heavy pass from Minter with his back to goal near the penalty spot. Brody turned and fired, but Kyle Bjornethun deflected the shot away from danger.
POR — Kendall McIntosh, 68th minute: Up against the touchline 40 yards out, Brody delivered a peach of a cross into the penalty area to Daniel Haber. Haber trapped the ball with his left but took his touch too close to the keeper. McIntosh was quick off his line and brave to deny Haber on the opportunity without giving up a rebound.
POR — Kendall McIntosh, 78th minute: Haber attempted a curler just outside the area angled on the left side. McIntosh went full-extension to push the shot away.
RM — Andrew Putna, 90+’: With a tense 2-1 advantage, Timbers 2 FW Neco Brett was keen on an equalizer. Russell Cicerone served Brett on a platter six yards out, but Putna was positionally sound to collect the save diving to his right.
- RM Head Coach Mike Petke led his first game in charge of Real Monarchs after being the head man for the New York Red Bulls in 2013 and 2014.
- Midfielder Nick Besler scored in his Monarchs debut. The 5th overall selection of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft spent the last two seasons with Portland Timbers 2.
- Defender James Moberg scored his first goal of his professional career in his 9th overall appearance for Real Monarchs.
- The win was the club’s first in Portland in USL play. Real Monarchs were 1-2-0 overall in the Rose City.
Match: Real Monarchs at Portland Timbers 2
Date: March 25, 2017
Venue: Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
Weather: Cloudy and 52 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 1 1 2
Portland Timbers 2 0 1 1
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Andrew Putna; Max Lachowecki, Emilio Orozco, James Moberg, Kyle Curinga; Nick Besler, Charlie Adams; Chase Minter (Daniel Haber 63’), Sebastian Velasquez (Jesus Leal, 85’), Andrew Brody; Chandler Hoffman (Skyler Milne 89’)
Subs not used: Jared Osgood, Gallagher, Taylor Peay, Karsten Hanlin
Portland Timbers 2: (4-2-3-1): Kendall McIntosh; Kyle Bjornethun (Russell Cicerone 88’), Shaquille Jimenez, Lamar Batista, Rennico Clarke; Tomas Granitto, Blake Bodily (Neco Brett 79’); Andre Lewis (Jacob Montes 73’), Viliyan Bijev, Victor Arboleda; Augustine Williams
Subs not used: Wade Hamilton, Harold Hanson, Max Ornstil, Dylan Damraoui
Stats Summary: POR / RM
Shots: 8 / 17
Shots on Goal: 2 / 9
Saves: 6 / 1
Corner Kicks: 10 / 9
Fouls: 5 / 8
Offside: 3 / 1
RM – Nick Besler (caution) 45+’
POR — Lamar Batista (caution) 58’
Referee: Armando Villareal
Assistant Referees: Joshua Haimes, Seth Martin
4th Official: Jason Perlewitz