Tempe, A.Z. (Saturday, June 24, 2017) – Real Monarchs (12-1-1, 37 points) held on and earned a 1-1 draw in the sweltering heat against Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday. The Monarchs winning streak ends at a USL-record nine matches, but the unbeaten run is extended to 10 matches. The Monarchs move to 5-1-1 on the road this season.
The Monarchs broke through in the 12th minute through FW Daniel Haber’s third goal of the season. DF Demar Phillips, making a rehab start with the USL side, spotted Haber making a near post run inside the six and served in a sparkling cross. The Canadian made no mistake in redirecting it into the back of the net past a diving Josh Cohen to finish a wonderful spell of possession.
The visitors nearly doubled the advantage in the 41st minute. Real were on the break, and MF Sebastian Velasquez was positioned in an open pocket of space behind FW Chandler Hoffman. The forward yielded possession to the diminutive playmaker, and Velasquez forced Cohen into a diving save on his shot from 25 yards out.
But right before the stroke of halftime, Phoenix leveled the match through Omar Bravo. The Mexican international was on the end of the perfect combination on the right side. Didier Drogba back-heeled it to Matt Watson who spotted Bravo across the face of goal.
The combination of DF James Moberg and DF Taylor Peay were crucial in earning the result for the Claret-and-Cobalt USL side, blocking shots, stopping entry passes and organizing the back line. The entire defense denied Rising FC’s attacking trio of Bravo, Drogba and Shaun Wright-Phillips from registering a shot on target in the second half.
GK Connor Sparrow secured three saves. His best came in the first half on a Drogba free kick from 35 yards out. The former Chelsea and Montreal Impact star sent a missile on target, but Sparrow parried it away. The draw makes Sparrow’s record 5-0-1 on the year.
UP NEXT: The Monarchs will stay road warriors as Real will meet the Tulsa Roughnecks at ONEOK Field (6:30 p.m. MT, Saturday). Maikon Orellana was the difference for the Utah side in their last trip to Oklahoma, a 1-0 win on April 9, 2016. The match will be the first of three played over an eight-day span. The Monarchs hold a 1-1-2 all time series record.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
SLC -- Daniel Haber (Demar Phillips), 12th minute: As the Monarchs controlled possession, the ball worked out wide to Demar Phillips on the left side. The Jamaican spotted Daniel Haber making a near post run inside the six and served in a sparkling cross. Haber made no mistake in redirecting it into the back of the net.
PHX -- Omar Bravo (Matt Watson), 45th minute: Omar Bravo was on the end of the perfect combination on the right side. Didier Drogba back-heeled it to Matt Watson who spotted the Mexican across the face of goal.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
SLC -- Connor Sparrow, 8th minute: Matt Watson served in a cross to an unmarked on the far post Victor Vasquez. Connor Sparrow was positioned perfectly to collect the save at his chest.
SLC -- Connor Sparrow, 23rd minute: From 30+ yards out, Didier Drogba sent a swerving missile on frame on a free kick, but Sparrow fought the effort off. Omar Bravo sent the follow up effort high and wide.
SLC -- Connor Sparrow, 36th minute: At the edge of the penalty area, Miguel Timm sent in a penetrating pass to Drogba. The former Chelsea star took a touch around his defender and rifled a shot on target, but Sparrow was there for the easy catch at his chest.
PHX -- Josh Cohen, 41st minute: The Monarchs were on the break, and Sebastian Velasquez was positioned in an open pocket of space behind Chandler Hoffman. The forward yielded possession to the playmaker, and Velasquez forced Josh Cohen into a diving save on his shot from 25 yards out.
PHX -- Josh Cohen, 69th minute: With the Monarchs on the break, Andrew Brody cut across his defender in the box, but his left-footed shot was gobbled up by Cohen.
- Real Monarchs are 4-4-1 in USL play against Phoenix Rising FC.
- The Monarchs are now unbeaten in 10 matches dating back to April 15.
- RSL DF Demar Phillips made his return to the field from an injury sustained in May. Phillips started, earned an assist, and played 45 minutes. The defender joins Lalo Fernandez, David Horst, Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Sunny, Omar Holness, Jose Hernandez, Reagan Dunk, Ricardo Velazco and Jordan Allen as RSL men to make rehab stints in USL.
Match: Real Monarchs at Phoenix Rising FC
Date: June 24, 2017
Venue: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex; Tempe, Arizona
Weather: 99 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 1 0 1
Phoenix Rising FC 1 0 1
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Connor Sparrow; Kyle Curinga, Taylor Peay, James Moberg, Demar Phillips (Max Lachowecki 46’); Nick Besler, Karsten Hanlin; Daniel Haber (Chase Minter 72’), Sebastian Velasquez (Reagan Dunk 82’), Andrew Brody; Chandler Hoffman
Subs not used: Lalo Fernandez, Michael Gallagher, Emmanuel Ocran, Jonel Desire, Reagan Dunk
Phoenix Rising FC: (4-4-2): Josh Cohen; Peter Ramage, Kody Wakasa, Jordan Stewart, Amadou Dia; Miguel Timm, Victor Vasquez (AJ Gray 72’), Matt Watson (Jason Johnson 83’), Shaun Wright-Phillips; Didier Drogba, Omar Bravo
Subs not used: Carl Woszczynski, JJ Greer, Eder Arreola, Eric Avila, Blair Gavin
Stats Summary: PHX / SLC
Shots: 13 / 8
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 3 / 1
SLC — Kyle Curinga (Caution) - 14’
PHX — Omar Bravo (Dissent) - 27’
Referee: Younes Marrakchi
Assistant Referees: Anthony Bersano, Paul Nothman
4th Official: Todd Woodhull