Real Salt Lake and Academy Players Abound
As expected the Monarchs fielded a mixed squad for their season opener in San Antonio. Jeff Dewsnap, Bode Davis and Chris Garcia, all down on loan from RSL, were in the starting eleven along with Academy players Jaziel Orozco and Daniel Flores. Flores, who turns 18 on the 11th of May, made a single field appearance late last year with the Monarchs against against New Mexico United. Orozco, the-16-year-old son of a professional footballer, had been named to the Monarchs squad against EL Paso Locomotive last year, but this match was his on-field debut. The remaining six starters; Max Matta, Sam Brown, Malik Johnson, Ibrahim Bance, Kyle Adams and captain James Moberg were all from the Monarchs USL roster.
Despite a lively start with several nice combinations the Monarchs fell behind early. Marcus Epps collected an nicely threaded ball behind the entire Monarchs back line and sent a driven ball back across the goal mouth into the far corner for a 1-0 San Antonio lead in the 19th minute. The Monarchs continued to connect and went up a man in the 31st minute when a straight red card was shown to Nathan for clipping Kyle Adams down outside the field of play leaving San Antonio down a man. A favorable bounce in the box just before half time left the Monarchs down 2-0 as Emil Cuello made a great left footer finish in the 44th minute.
A fast counter push up the field in the 47th minute ended with Ibrahim Bance opening his Monarchs account off a good low cross by Bode Davis to make the score 2-1. Eight minutes later Bode Davis found his own goal after a poor clearance by San Antonio to even the score at 2-2. Chris Garcia received a second yellow in the 75th minute to even the sides and despite several goo chances the game ended in a 2-2 draw
- The Monarchs held 57.5% of the possession and a 76.0% passing accuracy with 59.5% accuracy in their opponent’s half. For a team still forming and on the road in their first match, these are very good numbers and show a good connection between midfield and strikers.
- In a match with 39 total fouls ( 19 on San Antonio and 20 on the Monarchs) the youth of the Monarchs held their own despite their overall smaller size and refused to be intimidated by the more experienced and fully profession team
- Despite falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the Monarchs came out on fire in the second half and levelled the match to take home a point on the road. The Monarchs outshot the home squad 16-11 with each side having 5 shots on target.