As the torrid pace of 4 matches in 10 days came to end on the road in El Paso on Saturday night the Monarchs continued to actively rotate players. In addition, with the loss to Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday, the Monarchs were eliminated from the 2020 playoffs and shifted focus to taking a look at more players and making decisions for 2021.
David Ochoa continued in goal for the Monarchs behind a four man back line which retained Zackery Farnsworth and Steve Jasso on the outside while rotating James Moberg and Nicolás Giménez in for Taylor Peay and Michael Wetungu. Jack Black, after missing a start on Wednesday, joined Ricardo Avila and Sam Brown in the midfield in place of Bode Davis. The entire front three also rotated with Ryan Sierakowski, Luis Arriaga and Dayonn Harris coming in for Kyle Coffee, Wednesday’s goal scorer, Julian Vázquez and Devon Vega.
Despite the heavy rotation, both sides, Monarchs and Locomotive, looked very dangerous through the first 30 minutes with a handful of good chances for both sides but nothing on the scoreboard to reward their efforts. Both defenses continued to play a very high line, which combined with poor pressure from the midfield, allowed players from both sides to get in behind for good runs on goal. It was not until the 2nd of 4 minutes of stoppage time that Guillermo Diaz found a nice cross in the air and put a header past Ochoa to give the Locomotive the first goal and a 1-0 lead at halftime.
El Paso’s momentum continued early in the second half s the Locomotive continued to accumulate shots without any correspond chances for the Monarchs. Bode Davis and Julian Vázquez came on in the 68th minute in an attempt to create some offensive momentum only to have Julian go down with a hamstring injury less than four minutes late. Kyle Coffee came in but the Monarch’s continued to struggle and finished without a shot on goal.
An assistant coach for the Monarchs received a red card for contact with the 4th official for the second time this season in a final gesture to futility. The Monarchs have a full week off to regroup before traveling to Colorado Springs on next Saturday with the final two games of the season following quickly after on Wednesday and Saturday.