The 2018 United Soccer League regular season is now complete, and 16 teams are left standing as the playoffs get underway on Friday. Real Monarchs SLC solidified its place as the fourth seed in the USL’s Western Conference and will host Reno 1868 FC in the Western Conference Quarterfinal on Saturday at Zions Bank Stadium.
The 2018 USL Cup Playoffs will feature 16 total teams across the Eastern and Western Conferences vying for the ultimate prize of being crowned USL Cup Champion. The journey to USL Cup will be a single elimination venture for all of the teams competing in the playoffs, beginning with the conference quarterfinals before the conference semifinals and finals. The highest seeded team in each match played will host each match, including the USL Cup Final.
After each round of matches in each conference from quarterfinals to conference final, the winner from the Western Conference and Eastern Conference will face off in the 2018 USL Cup Final on November 8. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Fans can view the full 2018 USL Cup Playoff bracket here.
For the second season running, the Monarchs will host a first-round playoff match on Utah soil after again earning a top-four finish. In Week 31 of the regular season – the final match of the regular season – the Monarchs solidified the fourth seed and the right to host at least one match in the playoffs after toppling Fresno FC 1-0 courtesy of a wonder-strike from Charlie Adams.
“We know the quality in our group and we know what we can do,” Adams said. “We had a dip in form and now we’re back at our best and now we’re confident and that’s the main thing. The mentality is right and we’re confident to be our best on Saturday.”
The Monarchs will face Reno for the third time this season after splitting the two-match season series with the Nevada club in 2018. In the first match against 1868 FC this season, the Monarchs fell 3-0 at Greater Nevada Field – the first time Reno had ever beaten the Monarchs – before answering back with a 2-1 win in Herriman just a few weeks later.
The Western Conference Quarterfinal will be the first post-season meeting between the two clubs while Saturday is the priority for the Monarchs, the side still has its sights set on more silverware.
“With our first game in the playoffs at home, it’s all about confidence,” Interim Head Coach Jamison Olave said. “The guys believe in the game and believe we can win it all.”
The Monarchs will kick off against Reno on Saturday, October 20 at 3:00 p.m. MT in the first ever playoff match at Zions Bank Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by going to RealMonarchs.com or by calling 844.REAL.TIX.