Following a 3-1 defeat in Colorado Springs last weekend the Monarchs are back home at Zions Bank Stadium tonight as their Mountain Division nemesis El Paso Locomotive FC comes to visit. Once again the Monarchs defense will be tested as the second place Locomotive leads the division in goal differential and has recorded four clean sheets so far this season. Former RSL player, Sebastian Velasquez has returned from Israel and will be with the Locomotive tonight.
Overall, the Monarchs are yet to defeat the Locomotive in 7 regular season matches and have managed only two ties. The sole Monarchs victory over El Paso was in the 2019 Western Conference Final just before they claimed the title with the victory over Louisville City FC. In their only previous meeting this season, the Locomotive came from behind to defeat the Monarchs 2-1 on June 18th in Herriman.
The Monarchs, who have conceded 18 goals in the 12 matches so far this season, are still looking for stability in their back line and at goalkeeper where injuries and callups have left them shorthand and shuffling starts throughout the season. Only 6 Monarchs, including Kyle Adams and Jaziel Orozco from the back line, have started more than 50% of the matches this season.
Milan Iloski, on loan from RSL, continues to lead the Monarchs with 3 goals although Arris Briggs has finally found form and has a goal in each of the last two matches. Overall only 4 of the Monarchs 12 goals have come from their USL roster, while the other 8 were scored by players on loan from Real Salt Lake.
The match is scheduled to start at 8 PM tonight and will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Real Monarchs roster as of July 9th, 2021
Goalkeepers (1): Jimmy Slayton
Defenders (5): Kyle Adams, James Moberg, Jaziel Orozco, Kevin Saucedo, Timi Sobowale
Midfielders (5): Sam Brown, Brayan Gomez, Josimar Quintero, Ibrahim Bancé, Julio Benitez
Forwards (4): Max Mata, Malik Johnson, Juan Vidal, Aris Briggs