Sandy, Utah (Saturday October 7, 2017) – Real Monarchs (19-5-7, 64 points) clinched the best record in the USL regular season on Saturday in front of the third-biggest crowd in club history. With 8,402 in attendance at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Monarchs got an early goal from MF Sebastian Velasquez and held on for a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. That result alone would have sealed the regular season title, but the Monarchs clinched the championship when San Antonio FC tied the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-1 in a game that finished near the 70th minute of the match in Sandy.
In the club’s third season, the Monarchs hoisted the USL Regular Season Championship Shield after the match and will have home-field advantage throughout the USL playoffs, starting October 20.
In the first half, the Monarchs asserted themselves from the opening whistle. By the break, they held a 6-4 shots advantage and had been threatening to Vancouver goalkeeper Mark Village throughout the half. The breakthrough came in the 16th minute when Velasquez netted his eighth goal of the season, taking a pass from FW Sebastian Saucedo at the edge of the box, cutting to his left foot and beating three defenders and Village for a 1-0 lead. That score held until halftime as the Monarchs kept pressure on the visitors in search of a second goal.
Vancouver took advantage of an early miscue in the second half when a Marco Bustos cross was redirected by DF James Moberg into his own net in the 48th minute, evening the score at 1-1. The Monarchs then went down to 10 men in the 76th minute when DF Demar Phillips – on loan from Real Salt Lake – was sent off after a foul near the sideline. The Monarchs held on to earn the point, though, and celebrated the championship on the field with their supporters after the match.
UP NEXT: The Monarchs will remain at home to close out the regular season on Oct. 14 when they play host to LA Galaxy II – ‘Los Dos’ – with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. from Rio Tinto Stadium. The Monarchs and Galaxy II have met once previously in 2017, a game where the Monarchs walked away from Southern California with a 3-0 victory courtesy of goals from MFs Charlie Adams, Sebastian Velasquez and Karsten Hanlin.
SLC – Sebastian Velasquez (Sebastian Saucedo), 16th minute: Monarchs midfielder Sebastian Velasquez fielded a pass from Sebastian Saucedo on a quick restart in the middle of the field just at the edge of the box. With three defenders swarming, he touched the ball to his right, then back on his left foot and fired a low shot past Mark Village for his eighth goal of the season.
VAN – Own Goal (James Moberg), 48th minute: Vancouver broke out on a through ball up the right side and Marco Bustos played a ball across the edge of the six-yard box. In an effort to make the clearance, James Moberg redirected the cross into his own net for an own goal.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
VAN – Mark Village, 5th minute: Daniel Haber got a shot away from the right side, heading for the low left corner, but Village dove to his right and got a hand to it to push it clear for a corner kick.
SLC – Andrew Putna, 12th minute: Vancouver recovered a ball against the left sideline and played into the box. The Monarchs cleared it, but only to the edge of the box, where David Norman thumped a left-footed shot into the chest of Putna for the save.
SLC – Andrew Putna, 23rd minute: Off a Vancouver corner, Thomas Sanner slammed a header that Putna reached over his head to save, recovering a slight bobble before any Whitecaps players could converge.
VAN – Mark Village, 26th minute: Demar Phillips rocketed a shot from distance, with Village’s last-ditch parry over the bar the only thing preventing the on-loan defender from finding the net.
VAN – David Norman, 70th minute: Demar Phillips crossed a ball into the box from the left side. Sebastian Velasquez played it through to Chandler Hoffman on the far side for a shot, but it was defended by Norman and deflected into the crossbar for the stop.
- Real Salt Lake GK Connor Sparrow, DF Demar Phillips, MF Nick Besler and MF Sebastian Saucedo were all with the Monarchs on loan. Sparrow was the only one that was not in the starting 11.
- San Antonio FC played to a 1-1 draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a match that preceded the game in Sandy by 30 minutes, securing the 2017 USL Regular Season Championship for the Monarchs.
- Vancouver’s goal ended a 334-minute shutout streak for the Monarchs, their longest of the season.
Match: Real Monarchs vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
Date: October 7, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and 73 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 1 0 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 0 1 1
Goal Scoring Rundown:
SLC – Sebastian Velasquez (Sebastian Saucedo), 16’
VAN – Own Goal (James Moberg) 48’
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Andrew Putna; Kyle Curinga, James Moberg, Emilio Orozco, Demar Phillips; Charlie Adams, Nick Besler; Daniel Haber (Daniel Cruz 54’), Sebastian Velasquez, Sebastian Saucedo (Max Lachowecki 89’); Chandler Hoffman (Juan Mare 86’)
Subs not used: Connor Sparrow, Andrew Brody, Chase Minter, Diego Calvo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: Mark Village; Kadin Chung, Cole Seiler, Francis DeVries, Brett Levis (Gloire Amanda 46’); David Norman, Michael Baldismo (Matthew Baldisimo 79’), Marco Bustos; Terran Campbell, Chris Serban, Thomas Sanner (Noah Verhoeen 74’)
Subs not used: Sean Melvin, Daniel Barbir, Dominic Zator
Stats Summary: SLC/VAN
Shots: 12 / 8
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 17 / 19
Offside: 0 / 5
VAN – Marco Bustos (Caution) 26’
SLC – Nick Besler (Caution) 45’
SLC – Demar Phillips (Ejection) 76’
VAN – David Norman (Caution) 79’
Referee: Joshua Mills
Assistant Referees: Allen Pickett, Daniel Spicer-Escalante
4th Official: Kali Smith