Once again Head Coach Jamison Olave elected to go with the now familiar 3-4-2-1 with Jimmy Slayton in goal and a three man back line of Nicolas Giménez on the right, Taylor Peay in the center and James Moberg on the left. Andrew Brody and Noah Powder played out wide in midfield on the right and left respectively with end-to-end responsibility while Sam Brown and Luke Mulholland handled the back part of the midfield in front of the defensive line. Jack Blake, again serving as captain, and Luis Arriaga played in the attacking midfield with Kyle Coffee up on the point.
The Monarchs pressed hard from the kickoff and spent most of the first ten minutes in the Locomotive’s half with 55% of possession, but no real connection in the final third. A long throw in from James Moberg in the 15th minute provided the first good chance of the match with Noah Powder solidly connecting and putting it just over the top of the bar. Nicolas had a nice interception in the 18th minute on a quick counterattack by El Paso following a Monarchs corner kick.
The Locomotive had a Bryam Rebellón free kick just over 30 feet out in front of goal that Slayton barely reached and pushed off the goal post in the 23rd minute to even up the opportunities. The Monarchs had another got chance when Luke Mulholland sent a roller toward the back of the goal forcing a nicely executed save by Ketterer in 35th minute. Just three minutes later in the 38th, Mulholland sent another roller toward goal just missing an onrushing Noah Powder for an easy knock in.
Another quick counter by the Locomotive was barely frustrated by Andrew Brody in the 39th minute to shift momentum and play moved much more to the Monarchs half. The Locomotive managed to create some possession and connect up for several more pushes toward the Monarchs goal and several nice corners.
Leaving the field at half time the Monarchs still had 58% of possession but only two shots to 4 for El Paso with only a single shot on goal for each side. More importantly they had failed to generate any kind of attack through the center of the field relying instead on crosses by Powder and Brody.
The Locomotive came out focused and barely missed on an excellent opportunity with 20 seconds of the restart and then followed up with several more pushes and a nicely taken goal by Nick Ross in the 51st minute off a giveaway by Taylor Peay. El Paso continued in control of play and looked by far the more dangerous side through the 60th minute.
Julian Vazquez came on for Luis Arriaga in the 64th minute in a effort to kick start the Monarchs and move forward to pair with Coffee on top of the attack. The game turned more physical as the Monarchs began to push but stoppages due to fouls and injuries left the game very choppy and broken up.
In the 75th minute Coach Olave brought his two remaining offensive subs, Bode Davis and Ryan Sierakowski, on to replace Mulholland and Coffee just before the second half hydration break. Yellow cards began to flow and both sides continued to fail to create any forward momentum or flow.
The final 15 minutes, and the additional 5 minutes of stoppage time, continued much the same as the Monarchs to rely up long distance shots and individual efforts before walking off the field after dropping another 3 points at home.
The Monarchs next match is Wednesday at Zions Bank Stadium against New Mexico United.