Monarchs roster slowing starting to fill
Despite the current break in MLS matches, the Monarchs coaches named their most completely USL starting squad against New Mexico United on Friday night in Zions Bank Stadium. Daniel Flores from the RSL Academy along with fairly permanent additions Bode Davis and Jeff Dewsnup from RSL were the only non-Monarchs in the starting eleven and only three more academy players were among the five on the bench. Further evident that the Covid-19 pandemic seems to continue to recede and a statement that the USL roster is filling up as quarantines end and fitness levels rise among the many young international players signed by the Monarchs for the 2021 season.
Even with injuries keeping three USL players off the bench, it appears that the Monarchs are seemingly prepared to build a cohesive USL based squad with a limited group of fairly permanent additions for both the Academy and RSL. Davis has appeared in all five matches and Dewsnup has been in goal for every match but the warmup for McMath who stepped in for David Ochoa while he was off to the USMNT. Timi Sobowale and Brayan Gomez both appeared to be integrating well into the side. Timi offers further reinforcement in the back line and Gomez will be asked to provide center support and distribution for Davis and Malik Johnson on the wings.
Despite being the home team the Monarchs ceded much of possession to the visitors who outpassed the Monarchs 450 to 294. Also for the first time at home, the Monarchs’ passing accuracy was far below that of New Mexico.
The Monarchs 3 shots on goal all have a decent chance of finding the back of the net, but it was United’s only shot on goal in the 82nd minute by Isidro Martinez which gave them the victory and 3 points to take home.
As is typical for these two teams the match was a hard fought struggle with a total of 38 fouls called although the center referee only went to his pocket for three yellow cards.
- The structure selected by the USL for the 2021 Championship season means that these three teams will see each other another three times. The Monarchs were competitive in this match and should be competitive in each of the three to come even with two taking place in Albuquerque. The Monarchs are still integrating international players who struggled to travel under Covid-19 restrictions and will continue to mesh as the season progresses.
- The core defensive triangle of centerbacks Kyle Adams and Jaziel Orozco and holding midfielder Sam Brown continue to grow together with a full five matches under their belts. Although we will likely see more defensive newcomers find time it appears that the Monarchs can name a starting group that will keep the large number of matches against Mountain Division opponents close and give the Monarchs offensive side a chance to start producing goals.
- With at least a couple of double match weeks coming up in June, the Monarchs have a large pool of players with some experience on the field and remain able to bring fresh legs in for midweek games and in case of injury. The Monarchs have another home match on Wednesday, the 9th against Sacramento Republic and former coach MArk Briggs and then will be on the field on Friday the 18th against El Paso Locomotive while RSL face Vancouver Whitecaps FC across the valley in Sandy.