The Monarchs opened the season in their all white away kit and new head coach Mike Petke in his customary sweater. They looked sharp out the gate controlling the midfield and having better possession despite three early corner kicks by Timber 2. Minter had the first chance putting a shot off the post just after the 9th minute before Moberg buried a snap-down header into the goal in the 10th minute off a corner kick.
Bijev had the first chance for T2 in the 13th but missed wide. Chandler Hoffman had another good chance in the 16th minute off a through ball from Lachowecki but his shot went wide as the Monarchs continued to set the pace with all the momentum in midfield and had 58.1% of the possession.
Hoffman made another great run into the box in the 26th minute ending with a shot parried away by the T2 keeper. In the 34th minute Brody slipped Hoffman in for another chance, but it was cleared out for a corner. Brody sent another good ball into the box in the 38th minute, but Hoffman couldn’t get his head on it. The following corner kick also resulted in a good chance headed down by Orozco but went just wide. Arboleda of T2 had a good chance in the 43rd minute for T2 which went just wide. In the 45rd minute Besler became the first to go into the book as he picked up a yellow card trying to slow down Arboleda on a breakaway, but the set piece went for naught and the half ended with the Monarchs still up 1-0.
The Monarchs started the 2nd half brightly and in the 48th minute Besler found the back of the net off yet another corner kick to make it 2-0 for the Monarchs. Velasquez followed with another a good chance in the 50th minute. In the 53rd minute T2 had a good look off a corner but their header went wide.
In the 55th minute Adams was taken down just outside of the box on the right side but the resultant free kick went straight to the goalie. In the 59th minute of T2 was shown the yellow after a clumsy tackle and the game began to open up for both teams as the players began to tire.
Daniel Haber came in for Minter as the Monarchs first sub in the 63 minute. Shortly afterward Putna rolled a ball out that hit Orozco on the back of the foot and Augustine Williams recovered the ball and buried it in the open net for T2 to make the score 2-1.
As both teams began to tire the play continued to open up and became much more ragged with both teams having a number of additional chances. In the end, it finished 2-1 and the Monarchs walked off the pitch at Providence Park victors taking the full three points in their first match.
11’ – SLC – James Moberg
48’ – SLC – Nick Besler
64’ – POR – Augustine Williams
Monarchs Lineup: (4-2-3-1) Putna; Curinga, Moberg, Orozco, Lachowecki; Adams, Besler(c); Brody, Velasquez (Leal 85’), Minter (Haber 63’); Hoffman (Milne 89’)
Timbers 2 Lineup: (4-2-3-1) McIntosh; Jimenez, Clarke(c), Batista, Bjornethun (Cicerone 88’); Granitto, Lewis (Montes 73’); Arboleda, Bijev, Bodily (Brett 79’); Williams
Three Highlights for the Monarchs:
- 1. The Monarchs controlled the midfield for nearly the entire match making it very difficult for the Timbers 2 defenders to connect with their midfield and get the ball up the field. Only the speed advantage possessed by several of the Timbers 2 side let them move into the offensive half.
- 2. The Monarchs looked consistently dangerous off set piece plays with a couple of goals off corner kick and several other quality chances. While Timbers 2 had more corner kicks than the Monarchs they really had not quality
- 3. The Monarchs enjoyed a large advantage in shots (17-7), shots on target (9-2) and shots inside the box (12-3). It does really appear that their scoring woes may be a thing of the past.
USLSoccer: Monarchs’ Set-Piece Finishing Drops T2