Real Monarchs are still on the path for a win, despite looking at their best so far last week. Their next opponent, Sacramento Republic FC, rolls in to Rio Tinto tonight, and we're looking at three things to pay attention to.
Does Orozco continue in defense?
With Phanuel Kavita likely to see minutes against Sacramento Republic after returning to Salt Lake City, will Emilio Orozco — one of the standouts from Saturday's match — get a chance to continue in defense? He and Danilo Acosta were a formidable pair, and it's hard to not want to see that again. Of course, Acosta is probably back at the academy, which is fair enough, so a new pairing is inevitable.
Do Monarchs players get starts over RSL players — ever?
This isn't a question that merits serious investigation or much hand-wringing, but a number of Monarchs players impressed on Saturday. Playing at right back, Riley McGovern was an impressive force — but does he get replaced by Boyd Okwuonu, who has also been very good? It's an interesting situation because the stop-start nature of Real Monarchs as a B team above and beyond all else means that sometimes, players will deserve minutes for good performances, but better players on the first team might get those minutes instead.
So how does Freddy Juarez manage the balancing act? It'll be something fascinating to watch, certainly, but one would readily imagine that Juarez will have a bit of consternation about the decisions he's forced to make. It's not easy.
Speed of play
If there's one thing that Monarchs have lacked, it's the speed of play and decision-making in the final third to really make a strong difference. We saw it last week when Maikon Orellana, after coming on, was in fantastically unmarked positions on the left flank, ready to be sprung into action — but play stalled at the final third as the midfield probed for an opening. These things come with time, but it's one way the team can improve — will they do that against a very good Sacramento Republic FC? That remains to be seen.