Preview: Real Monarchs @ Phoenix Rising

SANDY, Utah (Friday, June 23, 2017) – Real Monarchs SLC (12-1-0, 36 points, 1st  West / 1st Overall in USL) continue their 2017 campaign Saturday night in Phoenix against Phoenix Rising FC, featuring Player-Owner and international legend Didier Drogba. The road game gives Monarchs’ Head Coach Mark Briggs’ team a chance to extend its USL all-time active win streak record to 10 games, while improving on the club’s 5-1-0 mark on the road this season.

Monday night, the Monarchs set a new USL record with its ninth consecutive victory, a 2-1 win over visiting Reno 1868 at Rio Tinto Stadium. First-half goals from RSL Academy product Andrew Brody and Salt Lake native Taylor Peay were both assisted by midfield catalyst Sebastian Velasquez, now tied for the 2017 USL assist lead with six. GK Lalo Fernandez came up with several key saves in the second half en route to his fifth win of the year, backstopping a defense that has outscored opponents 17-4 in the last 674 minutes.

Now in the club’s third season, the Monarchs are re-writing their own record books every time out. This season’s 12-1-0 mark exceeds last year’s 10-win total, and the 32 goals scored in 2017 equals the attacking output for all 30 games in 2016. This year’s +20 goal differential brings the Monarchs’ all-time goal +/- back to even, while Monday’s win gives the Monarchs an all-time 29-28-14 record, one game over .500 despite not qualifying for the USL Cup Playoffs in either of the club’s first two campaigns.

How to Follow Real Monarchs @ Phoenix Rising FC – Sat., June 24, 2017

  • Coverage Begins: 9:00 p.m. MT
  • Webstream: RSL.com or USLsoccer.com
  • English Radio: n/a
  • Spanish Radio: n/a
  • Online: The @RealMonarchs Twitter feed provides updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s Monarchs @ Phoenix game Available Online

The link to the Adobe PDF version of the Game Guide in advance of Saturday night’s contest between Real Monarchs and Phoenix Rising FC is available by clicking HERE.

A year ago, the 10th and final win was not reached until September 17, while the inaugural 2015 season saw just seven total wins. In its first two seasons, Real Monarchs SLC had totaled just six wins combined in April, May and June, prior to 12 – and counting – this season.

Led by FW Chandler Hoffman (8 goals, t-3 USL) and MF Sebastian Velasquez (6 goals, 6 assists, t-1 USL) in the first 13 games this season, the Monarchs have scored multiple goals in 11 of its 12 victories, making the club the highest scoring team in the USL, with 32 goals through 13 matches. With Brody and Peay scoring on Monday, the Monarchs now boast eight players with multiple goals, including 13 total goalscorers so far this season. Hoffman’s eight goals on the season rank 3rd overall in the USL, while his next goal will mark his 40th career USL strike. Velasquez and MF Charlie Adams (five assists) rank 1-2 amongst USL playmakers in the key attacking statistic.

Each of the club’s last two games have seen two assists in each from Velasquez, who has been named an USL Team of the Week honoree four times through the first 1/3 of the season and three times in the last six weeks. Also receiving the weekly distinction this year have been Monarchs MF Chase Minter, DF James Moberg, M/F Daniel Haber, MF Nick Besler and GK Connor Sparrow.

Only Monarchs Captain Nick Besler has played every single one of the club’s 1,170 minutes this season, while five others – MF Andrew Brody (1123), DF Max Lachowecki (1109), FW Chandler Hoffman (1079), MF Sebastian Velasquez (1053) and DF James Moberg (1043) – have each played 1,000 or more minutes. M/F Daniel Haber joins Hoffman, Besler, Brody, Moberg and Lachowecki amongst Monarchs to have appeared in all 13 league contests this USL season.

With the win earlier this week at home, the Monarchs surpassed Orlando City’s USL-record eight-game winning streak, set in 2014:

USL Winning Streaks (regular season)

     9 games: Real Monarchs (active; April 22 – present)
     8 games: Orlando City SC (2014)
    7 games: Swope Park Rangers (2016-17)
    7 games: Orlando City SC (2011-12)
    7 games: New York Red Bulls II (2016)

The Monarchs enter its next Rio Tinto Stadium match on Wednesday, July 5 against OKC Energy FC on an eight-game HOME win streak, dating back to last season, an active run which currently ranks third-best in the USL’s all-time record book:

 USL Home Winning Streaks (incl. playoffs)

     13 games: Orlando City SC (2014)
    11 games: Rochester Rhinos (2015-16)
     8 games: Real Monarchs (2016-present)
     8 games: Swope Park Rangers (2016-17)

Coming in late Summer, 2017, the Zions Bank Real Academy opens in Herriman, Utah, approximately 20 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. The $60 million facility will serve as the daily training home beginning in 2018 for both of the club's professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club's U-18, U-16 and future U-14 development academy youth selections. Including the 5,000-seat Zions Bank Stadium as well as the Zions Bank Training Center, the Herriman campus will provide adjacencies for an on-site charter school opening this Fall, with STEM disciplines (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) for nearly 300 boys and girls. View recent video of the Zions Bank Real Academy project HERE

In mid-November in North Logan, Utah, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen broke ground on the first of a half-dozen regional training centers across Utah and Arizona to be built in the next 2-3 years.  Each $5 million RTC houses a classroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor field, dedicated to fulfilling a curriculum consistent with the club's vision and mission for youth soccer training and education, and the continued development of both recreational and competitive pre-Academy (ages 7-12) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.

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