Sandy, Utah (Friday, Aug. 25, 2017) – Real Monarchs SLC (17-3-4, 55 points) continued its home dominance in USL play with a 2-1 win over Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. FW Chandler Hoffman assisted both goals as the Monarchs moved to 11-0-1 at home this season and extended the club’s lead in the Western Conference standings.
Monarchs FW Daniel Haber and MF Sebastian Velasquez scored first-half goals to stage a comeback after an early tally from the Toros as the Monarchs moved within two points of clinching a playoff berth for the first time in club history.
RGV opened scoring in the fifth minute when Kyle Murphy beat his defender, then the goalkeeper with a stunning right-footed shot from the edge of the box to give the visitors the 1-0 lead. The Monarchs responded with a highlight reel goal in the 18th minute, as Haber crushed a right-footed shot from 19 yards out that beat the goalkeeper inside the far post for his sixth goal of the season, evening the score at 1-1. Just before halftime, the Monarchs claimed the league on a 1-2 between Velasquez and Hoffman that ended with Velasquez squeezing a shot past the keeper for his seventh goal of the season to make it 2-1.
In the second half, the Monarchs pressed to extend the lead, but the match ended with a 2-1 final. The Monarchs can clinch a playoff berth if Orange County SC tops Oklahoma City Energy on Friday night. The match was scoreless in the first half when the Monarchs match went final.
UP NEXT: The Monarchs host San Antonio FC on September 2 (7 p.m. MT) at Rio Tinto Stadium. This will be the second meeting of the season between the two clubs after a 2-2 draw in San Antonio on July 22 that saw Chandler Hoffman score in the first half and Max Lachowecki add a late equalizer.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RGV – Kyle Murphy (Eric Bird), 5th minute: After Monarchs turnover, Murphy took a pass at the edge of the box, shifted to his right foot and shot past Monarchs goalkeeper Connor Sparrow for the goal.
RM – Daniel Haber (Chandler Hoffman), 18th minute: The Monarchs pressed up the left side, then dropped the ball back to Haber trailing the play. He cut to his right foot and fired a shot inside the far post for his sixth goal of the season.
RM – Sebastian Velasquez (Chandler Hoffman) 45th minute: Velasquez played the ball to Hoffman just inside the 18. There Hoffman took a couple of touches to control it before leading Velasquez in behind the defense for a left-footed shot inside the far post for his seventh goal of the season and the second assist of the night for Hoffman.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RGV – Borja Angoitia, 23rd minute: Monarchs winger Andrew Brody cut in from the right side and fired a shot inside the near post, but the RGV goalkeeper made the save to keep the match even at 1-1.
RSL – Connor Sparrow, 61st minute: RVG forward Ruben Luna made a run up the left side, cut inside his defender and shot toward the far post, but Sparrow made the diving save to preserve the lead.
- Real Monarchs captain Nick Besler was signed to Real Salt Lake on Thursday, making him the fourth player signed from the USL club to the MLS club.
- The win improves the Monarchs to 11-0-1 at home, outscoring visitors 31-10.
- FW Juan Mare made his Monarchs debut, subbing on for Chandler Hoffman in the 87th minute.
- With his two assists, FW Chandler Hoffman moves into the team lead with eight assists on the season. He is now tied for the league lead and is third in the league with 14 goals.
Match: Real Monarchs vs Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
Date: August 25, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and 90
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 2 0 2
Rio Grande Valley FC 1 0 1
Real Monarchs: (4-2-3-1): Connor Sparrow; Kyle Curinga, James Moberg (Emilio Orozco 82’), Taylor Peay, Max Lachowecki; Charlie Adams, Karsten Hanlin; Andrew Brody, Sebastian Velasquez, Daniel Haber (Chase Minter 67’); Chandler Hoffman (Juan Mare 87’)
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Diego Calvo, Danny Cruz, Skyler Milne
Rio Grande Valley FC Toros: (4-4-2): Borja Angoitia; Taylor Hunter, Kai Greene (Victor Garza 77’), Ivan Magalhaes, Justin Bilyeu; Robert Casner, Jorginho James (Ruben Luna 46’), Todd Wharton, Jose Escalante; Kyle Murphy (Francisco Pungo 70’), Eric Bird
Subs not used: Michael Kirk, Leonardo Ayala, Christian Lucatero, Robert Sagel
Stats Summary: RM/RGV
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 11
Offside: 2 / 4
RGV – Kyle Murphy (Eric Bird) 5’
RM – Daniel Haber (Chandler Hoffman) 18’
RM – Sebastian Velasquez (Chandler Hoffman) 45’
RGV – Robert Casner (Caution) 23’
RM – Juan Mare (Caution) 91+’
Referee: Jon Freeman
Assistant Referees: Daniel Spicer-Escalante, Kristi Mak
4th Official: Allen Pickett