On the heels of their 3-0 shutout victory over a young LA Galaxy squad in Carson on Wednesday the Monarchs will welcome Sacramento Republic into Rio Tinto this Saturday evening.
A former USL champion in 2014, their first year in the league, and a playoff team all three years of membership, the Republic is off to a slow start in 2017. Held scoreless, and winless, in their last five matches they will come in hungry for goals and expecting a change in their fortunes.
Sammy Ochoa, a veteran of four season in the USL following three with the Seattle Sounders in MLS leads their scorers with 3 goals, followed by Wilson Kneeshaw with 2 and three others with one goal apiece. Midfielder Danny Barrerra has been effective at distribution and created 25 chances in the young season, but the goals have not yet followed these efforts.
The defense which has allowed only 7 goals is anchored by James Kiffe and Emrah Klimenta as fullbacks on each side and Jeremy Hall in the midfield, but the center back pairing has seen a lot of transition and a regular set of starters has not yet emerged.
The Monarchs, however, continue to be second in goals scored with 18 goals and had both Charlie Adams and late substitute Karsten Hanlin find the back of the net for the first time in Carson. Chandler Hoffman continues to lead the team with 4 goals closely followed by Sebastian Velasquez with 3 after the PK conversion against Los Dos.
James Moberg, Nick Besler and Max Lachowecki anchor the defense and are the only Monarachs to have played every minute so far in 2017.
The Republic and Monarchs have met 7 times over the past two seasons including a neutral field match last season at the home field of the new 2017 expansion team Reno 1868 FC. The Monarchs and Republic each have two victories while the other three matches ended in draws. The Republic have yet to win at Rio Tinto and the Monarchs will surely seek to extend that string.
What to watch for
After five shutouts including a tough 1-0 loss to San Antonio FC last weekend in Texas look for Sacramento to be looking for goals. Although they will be on the road for a third straight week they will likely come out quickly and search for a first goal which has been the only thing to slow down the explosive Monarchs.
At home again there is no reason to expect that the Monarchs, even with a three day rest, will play any differently than they have so far this season. They will also be looking to score early and frequently. However, as the defense continues to work, the maight just go for another shutout against a team that has shown a lack of ability to score.
Emilio Orozco and Chase Miner continue to limited by injuries, but the remainder of the team appears to be healthy and ready to get back into action. With the ongoing injuries and international absences at the parent club, this match should not see any players from RSL coming down for playing time.
All in all, this one looks to be an exciting an wide open affair between a couple of teams ready to strut their stuff and find the back of the net.
Real Monarchs: (4-2-3-1) Putna; Curinga, Moberg, Peay, Lachowecki; Besler, Adams; Brody, Velasquez, Haber; Hoffman
Sacramento Republic: (4-4-2): Newton; Klimenta, James, Christian, Kiffe; Barrera, Cazarez, Hall, Trickett-Smith; Kneeshaw, Ochoa
When: Saturday, May 13, 7:30pm MDT
Where: Rio Tinto — Sandy, UT
Weather: 59 degrees, Sunny