Phoenix, AZ (Saturday September 16, 2017) – Real Monarchs SLC (17-5-5, 56 points) fell to Western Conference rival Phoenix Rising FC 2-0, having gone winless it its last three matches. Goals on either side of the halftime break proved to be the difference as the Monarchs couldn’t get a foothold on the game.
The first half of action saw GK Connor Sparrow make two massive early saves, keeping Phoenix at bay before the home side eventually broke the deadlock in the 29th minute. The goal came when a corner kick played in by Phoenix wasn’t cleared and the ensuing scramble was poked home by midfielder Sam Hamilton.
The second half started blandly until second-half substitute Jason Johnson scored the game’s second goal when his first time shot from inside the six found its way past Sparrow. The best chance of the match for the Monarchs fell to the feet of MF Sebastian Velasquez whose first-time shot in the 83rd minute was parried away by Phoenix goalkeeper Josh Cohen.
The Monarchs couldn’t find the spark they needed to spearhead a second half comeback as the match ended 2-0.
UP NEXT: The Monarchs will return home for a September 22 matchup against Orange County Soccer Club with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Monarchs and OCSC have met once previously this year in Orange County, a game in which the Monarchs won 1-0 courtesy of a first minute strike from Chandler Hoffman and a penalty kick save from Connor Sparrow.
PHX – Sam Hamilton, 29th minute: A Rising FC corner kick was swung in and headed down and originally saved by Monarch’s goalkeeper Connor Sparrow. The rebound was eventually taped home by Hamilton after a scramble in the box.
PHX – Jason Johnson (Kody Wakasa) 73rd minute: A teasing low cross played in from Wakasa found an on running Johnson who slid in to score inside the six-yard box with his first touch of the game after coming into the match just two minutes earlier.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
SLC – Connor Sparrow, 7th minute: A massive breakaway chance for the Rising saw Sparrow forced into a 1v1 situation. Sparrow read the shot well to make a big kick save with his right boot.
SLC – Connor Sparrow, 22nd minute: Another breakaway opportunity from Phoenix forced Sparrow into a big save, this time diving full stretch to his left to keep the Rising off the board.
- The Monarchs remain atop the USL, can still eclipse all-time points total (70) with 71 points still on the table.
- The Monarchs move to 4-5-1 all-time against Phoenix after the 2-0 loss in Arizona.
- Real Monarchs DF Emilio Orozco returned to the starting lineup against Phoenix after missing the majority of the season with an injury.
Match: Real Monarchs at Phoenix Rising FC
Date: September 16, 2017
Venue: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex; Phoenix, Arizona
Weather: Clear and 87 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 0 0 0
Phoenix Rising FC 1 1 2
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Connor Sparrow; Kyle Curinga (Reagan Dunk, 42’), Taylor Peay, Emilio Orozco, Max Lachowecki; Nick Besler, Charlie Adams, Andrew Brody (Danny Cruz, 57’), Sebastian Velasquez, Daniel Haber; Chandler Hoffman
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Justin Schmidt, Jonel Desire, Diego Calvo, Juan Mare
Phoenix Rising FC: (4-4-2): Josh Cohen; Kody Wakasa, Victor Vasquez, Doueugui Mala, Jordan Stewart; Kevon Lambert, Alessandro Riggi, Sam Hamilton, Gladson Awako, Amadou Dia; Chris Cortez (Jason Johnson, 71’)
Subs not used: John Berner, Jordan Gibbons, AJ Gray, Blair Gavin, Matthew Watson, Didier Drogba
Stats Summary: PHX/SLC
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 9
Fouls: 10 / 13
Offside: 2 / 0
PHX – Gladson Awako (caution) 4’
PHX – Amadou Dia (caution) 54’
PHX – Josh Cohen (caution) 90’+2
SLC – Danny Cruz (caution) 90’+3
Referee: Ismir Pekmic
Assistant Referees: Bennett Savage, Matthew Jacob
4th Official: Noah Kenyawni