After beginning formal preseason sessions on March 22nd, several of the short handed Monarchs featured in one of the three 40 minute friendlies against Sacramento Republic FC on March 28th. The Monarchs preseason will continue with another friendly against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who are basing out of Rio Tinto, on April 1. The Monarchs will then once again face Sacramento, led by former coach Mark Briggs, on April 24th in Sacramento.
With only three players returning from the 2020 Monarchs and Covid-19 still causing lengthy delays in the granting of visas and international travel, the Monarchs have five players on their limited 12 man roster who have yet to report to camp. This has resulted in the inclusion of a large number of Academy players in spring practices and even the initial game against Sacramento at Rio Tinto. Expectations are that supplemental Academy players will also be featured in at least the upcoming two preseason matches as well as travelling with the squad to Sacramento.
The USL Championship will once again be divided into regions for 2021 with the Monarchs being placed into a southwestern region with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, New Mexico United, El Paso Locomotive FC, Austin Bold FC, San Antonio FC and Rio Grande Valley FC. The Monarchs will face each of these regional opponents four times with two matches at Zions Bank Stadium and two matches on the road.
The remaining 8 matches include three, one more than parent RSL, against Eastern Conference foes. Each of these matches against Hartford Athletic and Indy Eleven away and New York Red Bulls II in Herriman will be the first time these two teams have met.
The other five matches in the 32 match regular season will feature west coast foes Sacramento Republic FC, LA Galaxy II, San Diego Loyal, Tacoma Defiance and Las Vegas Lights.
The 2021 season will once again open on the road in San Antonio on Saturday, May 8th, with the home opener following six days later on Friday, May 14th, against LA Galaxy II.
Safety protocols and limits on stadium capacity are still under negotiation with USL Championship officials and local heath officers. Season ticket members will be contacted as soon as the protocols have been finalized and receive first priority for any reduced capacity matches.
Real Monarchs current roster as of March 31, 2021
Goalkeepers (1): Jimmy Slayton
Defenders (3): Kyle Adams, James Moberg, Kevin Saucedo
Midfielders (5): Sam Brown, Brayan Gomez, Josimar Quintero, Ibrahim Bancé, Julio Benitez
Forwards (3): Max Mata, Malik Johnson, Juan Vidal