Monarchs drop home match to LA II on stoppage-time goal

April 25th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

Real Monarchs SLC welcomed L.A. Galaxy II to Rio Tinto Stadium on a rainy Saturday evening, but ended up giving the visitors a last-minute 1-0 win on the road in front of an announced crowd of 1,001 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

Galaxy II defender Bradley Diallo made a blazing sprint down the left sideline in the dying moments of second-half stoppage time, bending a ball from near the corner flag inside the near post and just out of reach of 6-foot-1 Monarchs goalkeeper Eric Osswald to give the Galaxy (2-3-1) the only goal of the rain-soaked match.

Osswald played nearly flawless in miserable conditions, putting up three saves while facing six shots on goal as he organized a brand-new back line that include RSL-Arizona Academy call-up Danilo Acosta.

Real Monarchs GK Eric Osswald following LA II 1-0 loss.

Real Monarchs goalkeeper Eric Osswald addressed the media after the loss. “We were battling, we were fighting, and that’s why it was such a killer at the end.”

“It’s the sort of thing where I think our team fought so hard the whole game defensively,” Osswald. “We were battling, we were fighting, and that’s why it was such a killer at the end. I take responsibility for it … but it hurts extra much. I’m mad that we fought so hard, and it came down to the end. It was such a hard fought game by everyone on the team.”

The Monarchs (0-3-3) out-shot the the Galaxy 14-8, including an 8-3 edge in the second half. Max Rauhofer, Ricardo Velazco and Jordan Murrell led the home side with three shots apiece, with Velazco putting all three of his shots on frame.

Rauhofer, who started his second match for the Monarchs after joining the club less than two weeks ago, was dangerous early for the home side, nearly connected on a pair of headers inside the opening 10 minutes of the match while action was played end-to-end on the slippery wet surface in Sandy.

Pressed into action with RSL-loaned goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez in Boston, the 23-year-old Osswald faced six shots on goal through the night, including a slippery stop at the half-hour mark to keep both sides locked in a scoreless draw.

For about 92 minutes, the Monarchs’ defense looked virtually impenetrable.

“I think we played one of our best games,” Osswald said. “We fought our hardest. I think we battled better than we have earlier in the year. Everyone was committed to the cause.

“We cane move on from this. We know that we played well, and that we fought together as a unit. That’s a big positive to take.”

Murrell ripped a shot off his left foot in the 38th minute from inside the box, but L.A. goalkeeper Clement Diop came off his line and made a fingertip save to push the ball into the side netting. Diop finished with six saves as the Monarchs blasted him with three shots each half.

Lucas Baldin nearly pulled one back in the 41st minute, taking a free kick in front of the Galaxy II bench and blasting it on frame. Diop stutter-stepped back, leaped, and punched the ball over the bar for a corner kick, which the Galaxy controlled to preserve the 0-0 shutout through the first half.

Ricardo Velazco sprinted onto a ball and took it all the way to go in the 55th minute, crushing a shot right at Diop that the goalkeeper barely had time to bat away to keep the Monarchs off the board.

The game saw several new players feature for the Monarchs, including Arizona academy loanee Acosta, who struck for a shot in his first action with the USL side.

“He’s 17 years old, and he did very well in the back. That’s what we’re here for: we want to get some positives out of it, and that kid has a future,” Monarchs coach Freddy Juarez said. “Orozco was great, too. Our defense was solid, the team was good, but we can obviously be even more dangerous. I think we took our foot off the pedal for a little bit. We’re moving in the right direction.”

Utah native Maikon Orellana, who just become eligible to play with Real Monarchs this week, made his club debut in the 60th minute when he replaced fellow home stater Garrett Losee. Orellana, who was born in El Salvador and has represented that country at the youth international level, played a wide role for the final 30 minutes of the match and threatened for the final half hour.

“I think there were a ton of positives from this game,” Juarez added. “I think possession-wise, we were a lot better. We controlled the game, guys were confident, and we looked solid in the back. It’s a step in the right direction, besides that last goal.

“It’s a good group. As soon as we walked in, I felt a lot better than the last few (games). I could tell the players knew we are getting better … We aren’t happy with the loss, scoring on the last play of the game. But there was a big chunk of the game that was pretty good. We’re hoping that we can finally play a game with some decent weather and have a better result.”

The Monarchs have a quick turnaround until the next match, hosting defending USL champions Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“If we stay positive, I think results will start coming,” Juarez said. “But it’s not going to be easy. We have the champs right away, and it’s a quick turn around. Hopefully the guys are ready to go, and we can produce something.”

 

Sean Walker

Sean Walker

Salt City FC editor-in-chief Sean Walker has been covering soccer at all levels since 2007. He began his career in Las Vegas, and has since written for publications from the Intermountain West to Central New York, where he attended graduate school in 2012. Currently, Sean covers Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer for KSL.com. A struggling Evertonian by birth, Sean follows European soccer through the blue lens of the Toffees, and has strong feelings toward the UEFA Europa League.

One Comment

  1. USLWatcher says:

    Was unfortunate ending to best defensive game of year. Much improved over last game. It’s a hard formula to get wins with the team switching players all the time. A lot of MSL owned clubs are struggling while affiliated clubs are doing better because they send players down for season or at least they practice with the team and affiliated clubs do t have to play the younger ones. Monarchs can’t”earn” the right to play when RSL players sent down don’t have to be better to play, they just get to despite being less experienced than players who have played 60-70 games in college. My hunch is the RSL players don’t practice with the Monarchs either making team comradery tough. So in the long run I wouldn’t expect a ton of wins with this formula but for RSL system as a whole maybe you can count the formula as a win as their homegrown signees get playing time when they weren’t before this year and newer signees as well. Just tough on a coach as well. They will likely find a way to balance this but so far not so much.

Leave a Reply