In a heated affair in Utah, Real Monarchs SLC blew out Phoenix Rising FC last night.
Real Monarchs came home after a loss in San Antonio and faced off against their Western Conference rival Phoenix Rising FC last night. The two teams may sit close at top of the leaderboard, but during this matchup, the Monarchs stood leaps and bounds ahead of Phoenix. The hosts won the match 4-1, staying undefeated at home with an 8-0-1 record at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman. When commenting on their undefeated streak at home, Interim Head Coach Jamison Olave told USLSoccer.com, “They know that when we play at home, things have to be different. You’re not allowed to lose at home. Hopefully, it stays the same, but winning at home, we are going to be okay going into the playoffs.”
The matching seemed equal from the start, with possession changing back and forth many times in the first 30+ minutes. Sebastian Velasquez scored the go-ahead goal in the 37th minute off a well-fed ball from Maikel Chang. The Monarchs doubled their score after a ball sent by Chang took a deflection off Phoenix Rising’s Mike da Fonte in the 43rd minute, landing in his own goal.
Tensions rose during the second half, with Adam Henley and Maikel Chang receiving cautions in the 60th and 61st minute, respectively. Phoenix Rising’s Gladson Awako was then ejected in the midst of unsportsmanlike conduct. The clash began when Awako fouled Chang and proceeded to have words with the Monarchs’ staff and players.
Now with Phoenix a man down, the Monarchs kept the momentum going with a third goal scored by Chandler Hoffman in the 65th minute. Phoenix fought back hard and managed to score a fortunate goal off a deflection from Kalen Ryden’s foot in the 76th minute.
The Monarchs responded by turning the Phoenix goal into a shooting gallery and scoring their fourth and final goal when Andrew Brody knocked one off the crossbar and into the back of the net. Monarchs had a whopping 10 shots on target. Velasquez and Hoffman lead the team in goals with seven each in 21 matches.
The Monarchs will stay at home and face Reno 1868 FC on Wednesday, Aug. 8 starting at 8 p.m. MT. Reno will be coming to Utah off a loss at home against Saint Louis FC. They will no doubt be hoping to bring back a few points with them.