Although Lalo Fernadez in goal was the only change from their starting lineup in the victory against Timbers 2 in Portland, the Monarchs were slightly helter-skelter in the first 25 minutes of their home opener at Rio Tinto.
Both sides struggled to find any rhythm or develop consistent possession until Andrew Brody finally found some room on the right side and launched a good cross into Chase Minter whose 29th minute shot was the first shot to force a save by Phoenix’s Josh Cohen.
Although the Monarchs continued to force play into Rising’s side of the field, it wasn’t until a long range strike from Sebastian Velasquez shortly before the end of the first half that they forced a second save.
Just at it appeared that the half would end scoreless, Chase Minter made a strong drive into the box during stoppage time and was taken down by Phoenix defender AJ Gray.
Chandler Hoffman buried the subsequent penalty kick into the top right of the net for his first goal this season and the Monarchs walked off the pitch at half with a 1-0 lead.
Charlie Adams got things off to a faster start in the second half as his free kick found three open Monarchs in the box in the 48th minute, but Emilio Orozco’s knock down header went straight into the Cohen’s hands.
Phoenix Rising’s only good chance of the game followed when Shaun Wright-Phillips sent a perfectly timed pass through to Blair Gavin beyond the defense in the 59th minute but Lalo was able to smother his shot.
In the 67th minute, substitute Omar Holness hit Brody in a quick transition only to have Cohen come up big again for Phoenix. Brody returned the favor in the 76th minute with a searching pass across the box which found a open Holness who buried his left-footed shot to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Monarchs finished off the game in dominant fashion with Dunk and Haber coming in as late substitutions. At the final whistle the Monarchs walked off the Rio Tinto pitch victors in the home opener with a perfect 2-0-0 record and 6 points.
They will attempt to get a third straight win for only the second time ever in their history against Reno 1868 FC on Thursday night at Rio Tinto.
The Monarchs led in both shots on goal and chances created.
But perhaps most importantly they were also able to have Chase Minter (#48) and Max Lachowecki (#47) stay high on the left side while containing Omar Bravo (#9) and contesting the midfield.
45+’ - SLC - Chandler Hoffman (pk)
76’ - SLC - Omar Holness (Andrew Brody)
Monarchs: (4-2-3-1) Fernandez; Curinga, Moberg, Orozco, Lachowecki; Adams (Dunk 84’), Besler (c); Brody, Velasquez, Minter (Holness 60’); Hoffman (Haber 84’)
Rising: (4-1-4-1) Cohen; AJ Gray, Stewart, Greer, Ramage; Watson; Vasquez (Riggi 78’), Wright-Phillips, Hernandez (Gavin 42’), Johnson (Hurlow-Paonessa 52’); Bravo
Three Highlights for the Monarchs:
- The Monarchs came through this match without seeing a yellow card and no major injuries despite a few knocks.
- Chandler Hoffman got his first goal of the season which should serve to boost his confidence.
- Charlie Adams continued to create chances off free-kicks and corner-kicks even though not led directly to goals in this match
Got to love the blowfish action in this shot from the match
Congratulations from former coach Mike Petke
Post game with the coach