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Monarchs leave Sacramento with a point on the road

Republic dominate possession but need a late strike to even the score at one a piece

Courtesy of Megan Webb

In a game beset with strong winds and a cold rain, the Monarchs and Republic both showed a great deal of uneven play and simple mistakes. While the Republic dominated possession and increasing pushed the ace of play during the second half, it took a 81st minute goal following a scrum in front of the goal to even the score following a penalty kick conversion by Jack Blake in the 35th minute.

The 2019 Monarchs started their 2019 season with a starting 11 featuring four players down on loan from RSL. David Ochoa in goal, Donny Toia and Erik Holt in the back line and Pablo Ruiz in midfield. Kalen Ryden and Andrew Brody rounded out the backline, Ricardo Avila Jack Blake, Luis Palma and Maikel Chang joined Ruiz in midfield while Douglas Martinez lead the attack.

Both sides struggled to string a number of passes together in a fairly even and open first half. The penalty kick in the 35th minute following a take down of Jack Blake was slightly against the run of play and rather soft. However, Blake stepped up and sent it into the bottom corner to give the Monarchs a lead and afford them a chance to pull in more tightly and assume a more defensive posture.

Sacramento came out on the front foot following halftime and the Monarchs continued to tighten and pull back defensively to weather the storm. The Republic made the first substitution and moved to a three man back line in the 65th minute and then a further offensive move in the 78th minute. Pressure continued to build and was finally rewarded with the tying goal in the 82nd minute.

The Monarchs first substitution in the 69th minute brought a offensive change as Etoundi replace Martinez at the head of the offensive and while Lionel created the only good chance for the Monarchs in the second half, it was not to be and the game ended in a draw.

The hero of the night for the Monarchs, was definitely David Ochoa who looked calm and poised between the pipes while making 4 key saves and marshaling his defensive line. While the full three points on the opening weekend in Sacramento would have been a major victory for the young Monarchs, new head Coach Martin Vazquez surely learned more about his team and steps that can be taken to prepare them for their home opener next weekend against El Paso Express who lost 3-1 to OKC Energy in their home opener at Southwest University Park.