Real Monarchs SLC capped its fourth season as a member of the United Soccer League making an appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season. The 2018 season carried several milestones for the club as it moved into a new home before several players earned career and league accolades during another historic season.
Here are a few of the highlights the 2018 Real Monarchs SLC season had to offer:
Zions Bank Stadium
On April 30, the Monarchs christened its new 5,000 seat home at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah on the campus of the $78 million Zions Bank Real Academy. In the first outing at its new home, the club played to a scoreless draw with league newcomer Las Vegas Lights FC in front of 4,065 fans before moving on to post a league-best 13-2-2 home record in its first year at its new stadium.
Chandler Hoffman is Fastest to 50
On May 29, striker and Real Monarchs captain Chandler Hoffman netted his 50th regular season goal in the USL to become just the third player in the league’s modern era to reach the milestone. With the goal he also became the fastest player to reach the mark en route to ending 2018 with 59 career goals. In his Real Monarchs career, Hoffman notched 29 total goals and 17 assists, including 12 goals and five assists in 2018. In July, Hoffman signed with his hometown club and 2019 USL expansion side Birmingham Legion FC as the first player in club history. The striker departs the club as the all-time leading goal scorer.
Maikel Chang Reaches 30 Career Assists
In mid-September, midfielder Maikel Chang became the first player in the league’s modern era to reach 30 career assists when he played provider to Jose Hernandez for the match-tying strike against Saint Louis. Chang arrived in Utah carrying 22 assists from his four years spent with the Charleston Battery. Chang finished the season as the club’s assist leader after providing nine assists to bring his career total to an impressive 31 assists.
Academy Products Make Professional Debuts
Three RSL Academy products made their professional debuts during the 2018 USL regular season. Goalkeeper David Ochoa and midfielders Richard Ledezma and Glademir Mendoza all saw playing time for the Monarchs as several others featured in a reserve role for the club on multiple occasions. Highlighting production from the Academy products was Ledezma who scored his first professional goal in early-June, notching the winning strike in the first half against Rio Grande Valley FC.
16 Players Get Goals for Monarchs
In 2018, the Monarchs scored 58 total goals with 16 different players placing themselves on the scoresheet. Leading the pack for the second consecutive year was Chandler Hoffman who earned 12 goals, followed by Sebastian Velasquez with seven and Charlie Adams who saw six strikes hit the back of the net.
The Monarchs now prepare for the 2019 season that will see it compete in the USL Championship, the league’s highest tier.