Colorado Springs, Colo. (Saturday, April 15, 2017) – A second-half goal from MF Sebastian Velasquez couldn’t spur the comeback that Real Monarchs (3-1-0, 9 points) needed to catch Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. The Rocky Mountain rivals dealt the Monarchs a 2-1 loss at Weidner Field for the visitor’s first defeat of the 2017.
Switchbacks FC started the match on the front foot, notching two goals in the first 20 minutes. Colorado Springs midfielder Masta Kacher broke through in the 15th minute on a curler from 20 yards out.
The Monarchs conceded a penalty kick four minutes later as a Kacher strike from distance struck DF Kyle Curinga’s arm inside the box. FW Aaron King doubled the advantage from 12 yards away.
After halftime, the game swung to the visitors, as Monarchs playmaker Velasquez pulled one back in the 60th minute. MF Daniel Haber, in his first start of the season, found the former RSL and NYCFC man on the left side of the penalty area. The diminutive midfielder danced past a defender to the outside and beat Switchbacks goalkeeper Moise Pouaty across his body into the side netting for Velasquez’s second goal of the year.
Velasquez nearly leveled the match moments later in the 62nd minute. After combinations in midfield, DF Max Lachowecki found himself with a sight at goal from 25 yards out. The defender tried a curler that Pouaty parried to Velasquez on the doorstep. Unfortunately, the playmaker’s follow-up struck the post and caromed out for a goal kick.
The Monarchs had one final opportunity in the 83rd minute to make it level. MF Charlie Adams found Lachowecki in the center of the box. The defender controlled the ball with his chest, but his strike lacked sting and was corralled safely by Pouaty.
Adams was sent off in second-half stoppage time after being given his second yellow for a bad foul. The midfielder received his first booking in the 71st minute for a rough challenge.
If not for the heroics of GK Lalo Fernandez, the damage could have been worse. The highlight occurred when the RSL Academy product recorded a double-save in the 5th minute. Fernandez stopped Shane Malcolm and Kacher by coming off his line and smothering the danger. The goalkeeper finished with three saves.
HC Mark Briggs used two of his three available substitutions in the defeat. MF Chase Minter replaced Haber in the 72nd minute, and FW Emmanuel Ocran went on for MF Andrew Brody in the 87th minute.
UP NEXT: The Monarchs stay on the road for a Cascadian tilt in Week 5 against Seattle Sounders FC 2 (8:00 p.m. MT, Saturday). S2 bested the Monarchs the last time these two faced, earning a 4-1 victory at Starfire Stadium. Real Monarchs are 1-2-1 overall against Sounders 2.
COS – Masta Kacher (Rony Argueta), 15th minute: Receiving the ball on a big switch from Rony Argueta, Masta Kacher took on Andrew Brody on the left channel. Kacher drifted centrally, saw an opening, and unleashed a curler to the far post upper 90 to beat a diving Lalo Fernandez.
COS — Aaron King (Penalty Kick), 19th minute: Masta Kacher drew the penalty on a blast from distance that struck Kyle Curinga’s arm. Aaron King sent the spot kick down the middle to beat Fernandez who dove to his right.
RM — Sebastian Velasquez (Daniel Haber), 60th minute: Sebastian Velasquez was free on the left side of the box, when Daniel Haber released the ball. Velasquez glided past a defender and sent a left-footed blast into the far post side netting.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RM — Lalo Fernandez, 5th minute: The Switchbacks won the ball at midfield and tried to catch the Monarchs in transition. Luke Vercallone spotted Shane Malcolm open on the left side of the penalty area. Lalo Fernandez came off his line to deny Malcolm on the 1v1, but the rebound spilled out to Masta Kacher. Fernandez was quick to recover and smothered the chance.
RM — Lalo Fernandez, 34th minute: Pascal Eboussi rose high to meet Josh Suggs’s out-swinging corner on the far side of the six yard box. Fernandez tipped the effort over the top to avoid the danger.
COS — Moise Pouaty, 36th minute: Charlie Adams nearly caught Moise Pouaty off his line on a cross into the middle. Adams drove to the byline on the right side of the penalty area. The midfielder’s cross caught Pouaty leaning, but the goalkeeper punched the service-turned-shot away.
COS — Moise Pouaty, 62nd minute: After a 10 pass combination, Max Lachowecki attempted a curler from 25 yards out. Pouaty parried the effort to Velasquez, whose follow-up from six yards out struck the post and flew out for a goal kick.
COS — Moise Pouaty, 83rd Minute: Charlie Adams’s service found Max Lachowecki in the center of the box. Lachowecki controlled the ball with his chest but scuffed the effort, allowing Pouaty to safely make the save.
- RMSLC move to 2-5-1 overall against Switchbacks FC.
- Sebastian Velasquez has scored in each of the last two games. The playmaker has two goals and one assist in the 2017 season.
- Midfielder Daniel Haber recorded his first assist for the Monarchs in his first start for the club. The helper is his fifth of his USL career.
Match: Real Monarchs at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Date: April 15, 2017
Venue: Weidner Field; Colorado Springs, Colorado
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 69 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 0 1 1
Switchbacks FC 2 0 2
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Lalo Fernandez; Max Lachowecki, Emilio Orozco, James Moberg, Kyle Curinga; Nick Besler, Charlie Adams; Daniel Haber (Chase Minter 72’), Sebastian Velasquez, Andrew Brody (Emmanuel Ocran 87’); Chandler Hoffman
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Michael Gallagher, Taylor Peay, Jesus Leal, Karsten Hanlin
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: (4-3-3): Moise Pouaty; Josh Suggs, Josh Phillips, Pascal Eboussi, Jordan Burt; Eddy Prugh, Rony Argueta, Luke Vercollone (Sean McFarlane 82’); Masta Kacher (Conner Bevans 86’), Aaron King, Shane Malcolm (Jung-Yeong Park 68’)
Subs not used: Diego Gutierez, Jacob Cawsey, Justin Luthy, Jack Jones
Stats Summary: COS / RM
Shots: 13 / 21
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 9 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 12
Offside: 2 / 2
RM — Charlie Adams (Caution) 71’
RM — Charlie Adams (Second Yellow) 90+’
Referee: Chipalo Street
Assistant Referees: Elias Anosov, Lauren Parliament
4th Official: Brean Roman