Monarchs suffer first loss of season to Portland 3-1

March 29th, 2015 | by Shawn Blymiller

The Real Monarchs suffered their first loss of the season with a 3-1 defeat at the Portland Timbers 2. This was the inaugural match for the Timbers 2 side and they had help from five first-team players: central midfielder Nick Besler, goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, right back Taylor Peay, left back Andy Thoma,  and forward Schillo Tshuma.

Tshuma and Thoma both provided assists from the Monarchs left side of the field, with Tschuma crossing to Belmar in the 32nd minute for a near-post header directed to the far post for the opening goal of the match. Then Thoma provided a teasing ball across the face of the box that forward Rundell Winchester laid out for on a diving header for the 3rd goal of the match.

Coco Navarro scored the Monarchs’ first goal of the season and in franchise history. Navarro scored after Garrett Losee played a through ball that Timbers center back Rennica Clarke collected — but he slipped and allowed Navarro to walk the ball into the goal all untouched in the 59th minute.

Take a look at the first goal in Monarchs history:

The Timbers’ second goal came from a Monarchs mishap; the ball was played back to goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez and instead of clearing the ball, he took a heavy touch that was left for Kharlton Belmar to tuck into the back of the net in the 53rd minute.

The Monarchs had another chance in the 90th minute on a counter attack. Late substitute Leon Brown slipped in on the right side of the penalty box and took a slow-turf burner toward the far post. The ball looked as though it would be destined for the far side netting after Ricardo Velazco slid to to bury it. But Taylor Peay slid in and did just enough to keep it out.

The Monarchs can learn some tough lessons from the loss, though. The second goal could have been avoided by clearing the ball out of pressure, even if it was out of bounds. The other two goals could have been prevented either from stopping the service of the crosses or making sure to follow the runners inside the 18-yard box. Thoma and Tschuma were crafty and quick on the flanks produced fantastic crosses into dangerous spots — showing why they have first team contracts.

None of the RSL first team players that played with the Monarchs last week against L.A. Galaxy II were available for this game. Real Salt Lake faced against Toronto FC in Salt Lake just two hours before the Monarchs’ kickoff. Because of international duty, a lot of starters and notable players were missing from the first team — meaning players such as Aaron Maund, Phanuel Kavita, Lalo Fernandez, Sebastian Saucedo and John Stertzer stayed home to be available for Real Salt Lake. Stertzer and Saucedo entered the first-team match as late substitutes, and the Monarchs were also without Fito Ovalle, who was away with Generation adidas duty.

The Monarchs roster was tested today against one of the better USL sides. There is potential and growth among these players, especially with the Gold Cup later this year. More opportunities will open up for playing time for everyone across both rosters. The game is the greatest teacher and playing time will help develop these young players quicker.

Homegrown talent was on full display with the Monarchs on Sunday night, as well. Two players that played for Inter Futbol Club in Sandy started the match: Garrett Losee started up top at forward for the Monarchs, and he worked extremely hard and could be credited with the assist that lead to the Navarro goal. To be fair, Losee also saw two yellow cards, though they could be described as soft and unforgiving. I would even say that it was very unfair.

The second Salt Lake native and former Inter FC player started at right back for Portland Timbers 2. Taylor Peay had a great career at Washington University and was drafted in the supplemental draft by the Portland Timbers. Peay showed his speed and athletic ability with and without the ball throughout the match. He flashed his outright speed and pace in the 29th minute when he went on an 80-yard run from his own box to the Monarchs’ box with the ball at his feet.

Both players were coached at the youth level by Matt Broadhead, the director of coaching for Inter FC.

The game was also a preview of the Monarchs’ first home game April 8th at 7:00 p.m. I am looking forward to the rematch with the Monarchs, who should also get help from their first team players.

The Monarchs and Timbers 2 could become the bitter rivalry that fans are expecting. There were moments of hard tackles from the opening whistle.

Also, the play of Eti Tavares was fantastic tonight. Tavares is quick and fast — quick to beat players with the ball at his feet in tight spaces, and fast to beat defenders in a foot race. What will he show us in the future?

Below is the complete starting lineup for Real Monarchs and Timbers FC 2:

Timbers 2: Justin Luthy, Taylor Peay, Rennica Clarke, Anthony Manning, Andy Thoma, Nick Besler, Blair Gavin, Rundell Winchester, Fatawu Safiu, Schillo Tshuma, Kharlton Belmar.

Monarchs: Victor Rodriguez, Riley McGovern, Darion Copeland, Marvin Baumgartner, Jordan Murrell, Lennon Celestino, Lucas Baldin, Ricardo Velazco, Eti Tavares, Coco Navarro, Garrett Losee.

Shawn Blymiller

Shawn Blymiller

I was a guest host on a weekly podcast called "The Jockularity Show" in preparation of the World Cup. It was there that Rick Aaron from Channel 4 News coined me a "Soccer Geek". I played 2 seasons in the Premier Developmental League, 1 year with BYU and 1 year with the Ogden Outlaws. I also played soccer in college and was named to the All-conference teams. Soccer is my passion, it is in my makeup and in my DNA. I am staying involved with the beautiful game as much as I possibly can. I have done the play by play and the color commentating for games in the PDL, and the Western Athletic Conference for UVU. Follow my posts about RSL, RSL Women, Real Monarchs, UVU Soccer, BYU Soccer, and just about everything else in the footballing world. #COYG Arsenal!
Shawn Blymiller

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