Having dropped their last two matches against Phoenix Rising at home and Portland Timbers 2 on the road and with only 1 point out of the last five matches, Real Monarchs SLC hope that a victory against RGV Toros will right the ship. Rio Grand Valley FC, sits four points ahead of them with 16 points, but still 2 points out of the final playoff spot. More importantly, the Toros have only a 1-4-2 record on the road with the sole victory coming against Portland Timbers 2 at Merlo Park back in April.
Rio Grande Valley have scored 23 goals this season which is good enough for 7th overall in the USL Championship. Belize international forward, Michael Salazar, who moved from from USL side Ottawa Fury over the winter has 7 goals. while Carlos Smallk, Jesus Enriques and Maalique Forster all have 3 goals.
The main issue with the Toros is a defense that has also allowed 23 goals and continue to allow their opponents to move out to an early lead. Much like the Monarchs there has been a lack off continuity in the defense with a large number of different starting lineups.
The Rio Grand Valley midfield is lead by Isidro Martinez, who is the only player to appear in all 13 matches this season. Martinez was signed from USL-1 Tormeta FC over the winter and has become a true team leader.
Team captain Jack Blake and James Moberg remain on the injured list for the Monarchs and goalkeeper, David Ochoa, is out with the U20 team which dropped out of the FIFA U20 World Cup with a 2-1 loss to Ecuador earlier today. With Real Salt Lake having the week off and only a Open Cup match on the 11th, you can expect to see some of the MLS players tonight in a effort to familiarize themselves with the Monarchs squad and keep fitness up.
Already 12 matches into the 2019 season, the Monarchs continue to stutter and put in widely inconsistent performances for match to match. Having already suffered two losses at home this season and 8 points out of the playoffs, the squad needs to defend their home turf at Zions Bank Stadium and use an improvement in play at home as a foundation for a climb back into playoff position.
The match tonight begins at 8 PM and is the annual Pups in the Park promotion where all in attendance are invited to bring a dog along and receive a collapsible dog bowl. Join us for a live match this evening and get some live soccer to carry you through the international breaks.