The Monarchs took the field Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento in a new hybrid formation that alternated between a 2-3-2-3 alignment in more pressing offensive situations and 2-1-3-4 in more conservative defensive situations.
Juan Mare and Chandler Hoffman both played a high forward partnership, while alternating sides frequently. James Moberg on the right, Taylor Peay in the center and Emilio Orozco on the left covered the back line in most situations. Max Lachowecki was given much more freedom to move forward offensively with the rest of the midfield, while falling back in the defensive on set pieces and extended possession by the Republic.
The Monarch were slow to move up the field and press during the opening minutes of the match as they evidently expected the Republic to press much harder than they did early. Content to hold back they allowed Sacramento a fair amount of easypossession in the midfield and a good chance when Trevin Caesar and Agustin Cazarez combined for a good shot that swung wide of goal.
Begining about the 15th minute the Monarchs began to move the line of confrontation higher and established a much more physical presence in midfield. Mare also began to make his presence felt and forced several saves by Evan Newton, the Sacramento goalkeeper of the next 20 minutes.
The best chance of the half, however, was a nice header by Sammy Ochoa, which was barely deflected up over the crossbar just before half. Leaving the field for the break, both squads had good reason to be optimistic about their chances.
Coming back onto the field the Monarchs immediately began to press very high and hard leading to the first goal just two minutes in as Chalire Adams kept a ball alive on the side which eventually made its way into box with Juan Mare on the left side. Mare’s initial shot was stopped by Newton, but the goalie could not hang onto the ball and the rebound found its way back to Mare who promptly buried it from very close range.
Less than two minutes later an excellent deep cross from Max Lachowecki went back to Chandler Hoffman at the edge of the box. Hoffman noticed Newton was out of position from the penetration by Lachowecki and chipped it over the goalie for a second goal.
The chip left much of the sparse weekday crowd wondering what had happened and as play and possession continued to favor the Monarchs through most of the second half they began to leave in large numbers. Time and again the three man back line of Moberg, Peay and Orozco came up big and broke up runs by the Sacramento offensive allowing the remaining Monarchs to stay high and contest for the ball far up the field.
Just as the full 90 was reached a phantom penalty was called against the Monarchs which seemed to breathe a bit of life back into the stadium, but a weak attempt by Sammy Ochoa on the ground to the right was successfully blocked by Andrew Putna who proved a worthy replacement for Connor Sparrow on the night and added another clean sheet for the Monarchs.
47’ – SLC – Juan Mare
49’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (Max Lachowecki)
3’ – SLC – Andrew Putna
50’ – SAC – Sammy Ochoa
Real Monarchs SLC: (4-3-1-2) Putna; Moberg, Peay, Orozco, Lachowecki; Adams, Besler; Cruz (Brody 75’); Velasquez; Mare (Milne 87’), Hoffman (Curinga 82’)
Sacramento Republic FC: (4-4-2): Newton; McGlynn (Hord 75’), Klimenta. Christian, Kiffe; Blackwood (Vazquez 71’), Hall, Cazarez, Bijev; Ochoa, Caesar (Wiesenfarth 71’)
Three Highlights for the Monarchs:
- Andrew Putna got a start to give Connor Sparrow a rest and picked up a penalty kick save and a 10th clean sheet for the Monarchs.
- The Monarchs demonstrated flexibility by coming out in a new formation and looked quite settled with two up top and a three man back line. .
- Two goals for the Monarchs, including the first for Mare, will help get the offense running smoothly as the season ends and playoffs approach. Monarchs now stand 5 points clear with three games remaining for them and most of their competitors.
USLSOCCER.COM: Second-Half Surge Lifts Monarchs Past Republic FC
INDOMITABLECITYSOCCER.COM: Match Recap: Sacramento Republic 0, Real Monarchs 2
INDOMITABLECITYSOCCER.COM: Photo Gallery: Sacramento Republic vs Real Monarchs SLC