Two difficult road games awaited the Monarchs in Week 28 with Sacramento Republic FC and Reno 1868 FC looking to spoil a run at a USL Regular Season Championship as the season’s end nears. The Monarchs however, had other ideas as the team brought an end to a four-game winless skid by beating Republic FC 2-0 and Reno 3-0. FWs Chandler Hoffman and Juan Ignacio Mare each scored two goals in two games while GK Andrew Putna saved a penalty kick in each game to preserve the shutouts. With the wins, the USL power ranking pundits placed the Monarchs back in its rightful spot atop the rankings with two matches left to play and the first silverware of the season up for grabs on Saturday.
“Back atop the USLSoccer.com Power Rankings, a unanimous selection, the Monarchs’ turning point in a 0-0 draw against Orange County SC a little more than a week ago that saw the team do everything but score was built upon in its victories against Sacramento Republic FC and Reno 1868 FC. Chandler Hoffman broke through the 15-goal barrier, Juan Mare notched his first two goals for the club and Andrew Putna picked right up where Connor Sparrow had left off in recording back-to-back shutouts.
Maybe the most notable statistic to come out of this week for the Monarchs was its remarkable streak on penalty kicks. Real has now either saved, or had opponents miss, seven consecutive spot kicks. As we saw in last year’s postseason with the New York Red Bulls II, having that sort of record could come in very useful should the need arise come playoff time.
The Monarchs not only clinched a first home playoff game in club history, but also moved into range to claim the USL Regular Season Championship as it put together a solid road performance that was highlighted by some clinical second-half finishing at Greater Nevada Field. Denied from clinching the silverware on Saturday night by San Antonio FC’s victory earlier in the evening, the Monarchs will now get to try and do so on home turf against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 next Saturday night, where a win would earn a championship and the No. 1 overall seed in the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs.”
The Monarchs will return to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday October 7, for a matchup with Vancouver Whitecaps FC with a draw or win earning them the USL Regular Season Championship. The match will kick off at 7:00 pm MT while tickets can be purchased by clicking the picture below: