The Monarchs came out fast in the second match of their Texas road trip when Daniel Haber stripped a Toro and initiated a nice little give and go with Reagan Dunk before slotting a nice ball back across the box and into the net for a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute.
Chandler Hoffman had his first good look at goal a few minutes later when a ball popped back out to him at the top of the box, but Marco Carducci managed to punch it away.
The Toros looked set to tie up the match in the 15’ minute when Jose Escalante was taken down in the box by Michael Gallagher. Conner Sparrow, however, came up big to stop is third penalty kick of the season to keep his clean sheet.
Sparrow had another fantastic save on a late in stoppage time when he parried a header by Kyle Murphy off to the side for a corner kick and preserve the Monarchs 1-0 lead.
Rio Grande Valley came out firing on all cylinders in the second half and were finally reward in the 58’ when Escalante slammed a first time shot just inside the right post past an outstretched Sparrow.
Both sides had several good chances but it was Charlie Adams who created the chance that decided the match when he dribbled into a group of Toros in the 79’ minute and was taken down in the box by Ivan Magalhaes. Chandler Hoffman demanded the ball and calmly hit the penalty kick past Carducci for the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory.
The Monarchs looked far from the team we are used to seeing at Rio Tinto, but managed to pull 4 points in the two match swing through Texas. They return home to face Tulsa, one of the teams to defeat them this season, on Monday at RIo Tinto in a match that should prove to have ample motivation for a team that is now 9 points up on its closest pursuer.
8’ – SLC – Daniel Haber (Reagan Dunk)
58’ – RGV – Jose Escalante (Kyle Murphy)
79’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (penalty)
32’ – SLC – Daniel Haber
37’ – SLC – Michael Gallagher
69’ – SLC – Nick Besler
78’ – RGV – Ivan Magalhaes
Real Monarchs SLC: (4-2-3-1) Sparrow; Curinga (Moberg 68’), Schmidt, Gallagher, Lachowecki; Besler, Adams; Dunk (Velasquez 63’), Minter, Haber (Hanlin 89’); Hoffman
Rio Grande Valley FC: (4-2-3-1) Carducci; Hunter, Garza (Wharton 82’), Magalhaes, Greene; James, Bird; Casner, Monroy (Murphy 24’), Escalante (Lucatero 83’); Ramos Pungo
Three Highlights for the Monarchs:
- Conner Sparrow is perfect for the season stopping all three penalty kicks that he has faced.
- Sebastian Velasquez returned to the lineup following a long absence due to a hamstring injury and put in a goos 27’ shift.
- The Monarchs record their first victory in fourth matches in the Lone Star state.
USLSOCCER.COM: Monarchs Edge Out Toros