Head Coach Mark Briggs started without the three offensive leaders for the Monarchs with Sebastian Velasquez (half time guest on broadcast) and Charlie Adams (surprise guest on Horse Bear and Lion podcast) out of the 18 and Chandler Hoffman on the bench. Two of the three guest players on loan from RSL made the start with Ryan Schmidt at left back in place of Max Lachowecki and Jose Hernandez in the center midfield spot for the second straight match.
Karsten Hanlin, in just his second start, made his presence known early when he took a layoff from Chase Minter and sent it into the net in the 8th minute for an quick lead.
As the first half progressed, however, play slowed on both sides as each seemed content to probe and pick around the edges of their opponent. The only real threat saw Andy Dixon show some amazing persistence as he headed home his own rebound off the crossbar to finish a quick counterattack.
Halftime saw the Monarchs leave the field with a large edge in possession but no clear cut momentum or advantage for the second half. During his halftime visit on the stream, Sebastian Velasquez offered the o pinion that Coach Briggs would be lighting up the locker room and what he would be saying was not for open broadcasting. He also added a tidbit that Coach Briggs is shooting for 45 points out of the 51 remaining.
Chandler Hoffman came on at half for Jose Hernandez, and forced a shift in the Monarchs alignment which took some time to take hold, but finally paid off. Shortly after a great save by Sparrow in the own end, Chandler Hoffman neatly placed a low cross from Kyle Curinga into the net for a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute.
Just six minutes later OKC defender Coady Andrews took Hoffman down in the box and was shown the red card leaving the Energy a man down for the rest of the match. Hoffman calmly buried the penalty kick past Cody Laurendi to increase the lead to 3-1.
The Monarchs ended with 64.7% of the possession and a two goal victory in a match that was otherwise fairly even and much more tightly contested than the score would indicate. In an organization that sometimes is fond of quoting that the players on the bottom of the list are not forcing their way into the lineup it was great to see some new faces have a nice match and carry the Monarchs closer to Saturday’s match against Seattle Sounders 2 and then a two week layoff to get healthy and back to the fine tuned machine we saw earlier in the year.
8’ – SLC – Karsten Hanlin (Chase Minter)
26’ – OKC – Alex Dixon
70’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (Kyle Curinga)
76’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (penalty)
8’ – SLC – Karsten Hanlin
55’ – OKC – Chad Bond
57’– SLC – Daniel Haber
74’ – OKC – Coady Andrews
Real Monarchs SLC: (4-2-3-1) Sparrow; Curinga, Moberg, Peay, Schmidt; Besler, Hanlin; Brody (Gallagher 90’), Hernandez (Hoffman 45’), Minter; Haber (Lachowecki 79’)
OKC Energy FC: (4-2-3-1) Laurendi; Harris (Dixon 45’), Andrews, Wallace, Hyland; Bond, Guzman; Dixon (Daly 77’), Gonzalez (Jackson 77’), Barril; Craven
Three Highlights for the Monarchs:
- Chander Hoffman got back on track with two goals (his 40th and 41st in USL regular season play) to increase his total to 10.
- Karsten Hanlin stepped up and had a great evening and a goal in just his second start and we got to see several players get a chance a new positions
- Conner Sparrow commanded his box and had another tidy evening despite the heroic effort by Alex Dixon on OKC’s only goal.
USLSOCCER.COM: Hoffman Leads Monarchs Past Energy FC