For their first home match of the season and initial match in USL Championship’s Return to Play initiative, the Monarchs gave starts to two academy players in forward Bode Davis and defender Zackery Farnsowrth and included a third, Jeff Dewsnup, on the bench. Davis and Farnsworth joined goalkeeper Jimmy Slaton; defenders Taylor Peay, Jame Moberg and Andrew Brody; midefielders Jack Blake, Sam Brown, Devin Vega and Dayonn Harris; and forward Kyle Coffee on the field.
USL Championship newcomer San Diego Loyal came out determined to maintain patient possession and avoid a high paced game in the heat and altitude. Frustrated, the Monarchs continued to spray passes and force a more open and fluid match.
San Diego’s approach paid off as they scored the only goal of the first half off a Grant Stoneman header following a Loyal corner kick in the 17th minute. San Diego finished the first half with 69.1% of possession and the only three shots on target in the first half.
In an effort to get their offensive mojo back the Monarchs brought on new signing Ryan Sierakowski for Devin Vega at halftime and Damian German for Bode Davis in the 62nd minute but were unable to shift possession and momentum in the match.
With time running out the Monarchs inserted more fresh legs in Christopher Bermudez and Nicolás Giménez who replaced Kyle Coffee and Dayonn Harris in the 79th minute. While this managed some wild moments and close calls, the match ended with their second 1-0 defeat of the season and only single shot on target for the Monarchs.
The 0-2 Monarchs will continue their attempt to find that elusive first goal of the 2020 season next week at Rio Tinto against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC before another limited crowd.