In the month since their first match with the Monarchs on July 1st at ONEOK Field, the Roughnecks have compiled a 2-0-1 record. They arrive at Rio Tinto on 8 days rest following a 3-0 victory over Phoenix Rising at home after two road games in Carson against Los Dos and Oklahoma City against the OKC Energy.
Tulsa currently sits in a tie for the last playoff position in the Western Conference standings with 25 points. However, with the exception of Orange County SC, the other team at 25 points, they hold from 1 to 4 games in hand over the closest competition. their 8-8-1 record with a -1 goal differential.
Earlier in the season is seemed that Tulsa experienced downs to match any up and a great deal of inconsistency from match to match. However, July has been bright with 3 victories and a single tie in the four matches and a +6 goal differential thus far.
Center Forward Ian Svantesson continues to lead all Roughnecks with 8 goals including a single goal against the Monarchs in Tulsa earlier this year. Midfielders Joey Callistri and Juan Pablo Caffa have five apiece with midfielder Joaquin Rivas following at three included the other goal against the Monarchs.
The Monarchs return home after a successful swing through Texas which say them defeat Rio Grande Valley FC and tie with San Antonio FC. On a 10 game home winning streak, the Monarchs can move up to tie the Rochester Rhinos for the second longest streak in USL history at 11 with another victory tonight.
Center forward Chandler Hoffman remains a contender for the USL Golden Boot with 13 goals, one behind Dane Kelly and Romario Williams. Sebastian Velasquez, who follows with six goals, came in as a substitute against Rio Grande Valley and appears to be recovered from his hamstring issues. Daniel Haber also continues to shine with 4 goals
This will be the sixth meeting between the Monarchs and Roughnecks and the third match at Rio Tinto. With their victory earlier this year Tulsa took the lead in wins with a 2-1-2 record against the Monarchs. Both of the previous matches at Rio Tinto have ended in 1-1 draws.
What to watch for
In their first match in Tulsa on July 1st, the Monarchs held a slight possession edge, but found themselves being out shot 20 to 13 with 9 of Tulsa’s shots being on goal. Tulsa also held a clear edge in tackles and clearances in the defensive end.
To turn this around will require a full team effort from the Monarchs and especially from the midfield who missed Velasquez greatly in the first match. If the midfield and combine effectively with the front line and provide chances at an early lead, the Monarchs should be able to find points at the end of the match.
The Tulsa offense is effective and can convert their chances, but the team as a whole has shown a tendency to pull back and play defensively on the road. In games at elevation on the road they have lost 3-0 to Colorado Springs and 4-0 to Reno 1868 FC.
Look for the Monarchs to try for an early lead and press play high in an attempt to put this match away early and then continue to work through the second half when they will expect to have a advantage with the altitude.
Real Monarchs: (4-2-3-1) Sparrow; Curinga, Moberg, Gallagher, Lachowecki; Besler, Adams; Minter, Velasquez, Haber; Hoffman
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: (4-2-3-1): Cerda; Kimura, Dekovic, Jadama, Corrales; Bourgeois, Fernandez; Calistri, Caffa, Gee; Svantesson
When: Monday, July 31, 7:00 pm MDT
Where: Rio Tinto — Sandy, UT
Weather: 92 degrees, Sunny