Returning home after a 1-2 loss on the road in El Paso last weekend, Head Coach Jamison Olvae made four changes and moved to a more defensive 4-2-3-1 alignment for the only match against Tacoma Defiance this season. Jimmy Slayton continued in goal with a back four of Andrew Brody, Nicolas Giménez, James Moberg and Noah Powder. Jack Blake and Luke Mulholland were in the defensive midfield while Dayonn Harris, Kyle Coffee and Luis Arriaga handled the offensive side with Ryan Sierakowski playing on top.
Good chances were plentiful early on with both the Monarchs and Defiance putting balls off the post within 60 seconds of each and play going end to end with some rapidity. After the moment of silence things slowed somewhat but the Monarchs continued to show a more confident and connected attack.
A glancing header by Real Salt Lake loanee Luis Arriaga on a cross from Dayonn Harris cross gave the Monarchs an early lead in the 26th and his first goal of the 2020 season. In unfamiliar territory with a lead, the Monarchs continued to show connection on offensive and generated the better chances for the remainder of the first half.
Walking off the field after 4 minutes of stoppage time at the half, the Monarchs had to feel good having generated 9 first half shots with more than half on goal. Possession was fairly even but 8 of the 9 corners generated in the half belong to the Monarchs.
Both teams returned after half without any substitutions and the Monarchs continuing to see the better of play until several substitutions by Tacoma in the 64th minutes. With fresh legs the Defiance attempted to push the pace faster and found some initial success quickly creating a couple of very good chances and forcing the Monarchs into a more defensive stance.
Bode Davis came in for Sierakowski in the 67th minute to counter the fresh legs of the Defiance and the Monarchs managed to calm the waters. Just before the second half hydration back Mulholland went down and Sam Brown came into the match in the 74th minute.
Both teams continued to create chances and it continued to feel that more goals could be scored as the clock continued to run and five minutes of stoppage time were shown. In the end neither squad was able to find a goal and the Monarchs walked off with their second victory ending a four game losing streak.
The Monarchs remain at home with two game next week against Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Wednesday and New Mexico United on Saturday.