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Monarchs defeat Switchbacks 1-0 on late goal

Cross by Julian Vasquez finds the head of Damian German in the 86th minute

Courtesy of Lucas Muller

Due to injuries and absences the Monarchs staff named a squad dominated by RSL players on loan. Damian German started up top in place of Douglas Martinez, who has continued his hot streak in Peru scoring a goal for the Honduras U-23 squad in each of their two recent PanAmerican Game victories. Luis Palma, Luis Arriaga and Tate Schmitt made up the forward midfield attack with Luke Mulholland and Justin Portillo in the rear of the midfield. Noah Powder, Kalen Ryden, Erik Holt and Steve Jasso were the back four and Andrew Putna got the start in goal. Finney, Plewa. Brown, Chang, Pena and Vazquez were available as substitutes.

The first half was a rather slow and plodding affair as the Switchbacks ceded control of play to the Monarchs who failed to push and connect effectively in the final third. The home side managed only 2 shots on goal despite nearly 70% of the possession and was nearly matched by Colorado Springs who had a single shot on goal during a quick counterattack. The first half ended without a really good chance for either side and the score still tied at 0-0.

Michael Chang replaced Tate Schmitt, who was on a time restriction, at the half. While both teams picked up the pace early in the second half, neither showed any real signs of finding the net. Julian Vazquez came in Luis Palma in the 67th minute and had a great chance when he went free against the Switchbacks goalkeeper only to push it wide in the 82nd minute. Only a couple of minutes later, Vazquez made a beautiful cross to the front of goal connecting with Damian Vasquez who calmly headed it home in the 86th minute.

Despite finding it a tough slog, the Monarchs held firm for Putna’s third clean sheet this season and took all three points with a makeshift squad. The win also propelled them into the points lead for the fan-sponsored Four Corners Cup which includes the Monarchs, Phoenix Rising, New Mexico United and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.