The USL league-leading Real Monarchs topped Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium 2-0, tying the USL record for most consecutive wins in the process. With its eighth win on the trot the Monarchs draw level with an Orlando side that previously set the record in 2014.
In just its third season, the Monarchs have surpassed their win total from 2015 and 2016 when it totaled seven wins and ten wins in each year, respectively. Although the team is riding a high, Head Coach Mark Briggs still has higher aspirations for his side.
“I think I have said it before in the past, it is great to equal the record and it is great to get eight consecutive wins, but we have to continue winnings games and taking each game as it comes and I will be happy if we are winning games. October and November when it really matters,” he said.
Paired with the eighth straight win, the Monarchs also see an active home win streak dating back to last season grow. The Monarchs now boast seven wins in a row at Rio Tinto making good for the fourth-best home win streak in the USL record books.
For the players, the win against Portland was an opportunity to reflect on just how far the club has come in a mere three seasons. Forward Chandler Hoffman added to his team-leading scoring total after notching the second goal against Portland and reflected on the records with a smile, giving credit to not only the players, but the entire organization and camaraderie in the club.
“It’s massive for the club,” Hoffman said. “I think a real credit to this group. To the organization and the players they’ve brought in.”
Monarchs players and coaches credit the team’s success to the air of unselfishness and willingness to make their teammates successful on and off the field.
“Collectively, the work rate from everybody. We have a good group, we have a great atmosphere, great attitude, and collectively we are unselfish in working for one another off the ball and I think when we have the ball we want to move it around,” Briggs said.
Echoed Hoffman, “Everybody is buying in so that’s huge because it’s tough in situations like these when you have guys that take the shot instead of taking the pass. But here we have 11 guys in the field that take the team first and that’s been the biggest difference.”
On June 19, the Monarchs will be presented an opportunity to topple their own record and set a new USL precedent as they go for league history and their ninth straight win when they host Reno 1868 for the second time in 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium (7:00 pm MST kickoff).