Real Monarchs draw Sacramento in return to Rio Tinto, stay unbeaten against Republic

July 1st, 2015 | by Sean Walker

In its first home game since June 3, Real Monarchs SLC remained unbeaten against defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC with a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Eti Tavares scored the result-earning goal in the second half for the Monarchs, who improved to 1-0-2 all-time against Sacramento. With the point, Republic FC (9-6-3) moved into first place in the USL’s Western Conference ahead of Saturday’s clash against in-state rival L.A. Galaxy II. Real Monarchs moved to 1-9-6 in their inaugural season.

Ricardo Velazco goes to goal during Real Monarchs' 1-1 draw against Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Photo: Rob Gray/Monarchs Media)

Ricardo Velazco goes to goal during Real Monarchs’ 1-1 draw against Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Photo: Rob Gray/Monarchs Media)

Salt Lake City native Justin Braun gave the visitors a lead just 18 minutes into the match, getting the final touch on a ball that bounced around the box like a ping pong ball before Braun poked the awkward bounce past goalkeeper Eric Osswald to give Sacramento a halftime lead.

Braun’s shot was Republic FC’s only shot of the first half, which was played in 102-degree temperatures as a precursor to Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup featuring Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers FC. The Monarchs weren’t much better, putting only one of the team’s three shots on frame. Leading scorer Max Rauhofer had two of Salt Lake City’s three shots in the opening 45 minutes.

Rodrigo Lopez nearly added another one for Sacramento six minutes after halftime, but his whip from distance cleared the top of Osswald’s goal by a few feet.

Eti Tavares scored his first goal since April 17 at Colorado Springs with a golazo in the 60th minute, finishing a cross from Ricardo Velazco off his left foot and inside the far post to level the match at 1-1. Check out his goal, courtesy of the USL’s Twitter account.

 

Rauhofer nearly doubled the advantage for an aggressive Monarchs side in the second half. The break-out Uruguayan striker tried to chip goalkeeper Patrick McLain, found the ball with no one in front of him, and whiffed on the rebound that would’ve given the hosts their first lead of the game.

Rauhofer earned a penalty kick on a handball in the box in the 83rd minute, but his attempt from the spot smashed off the crossbar and back into play behind McLain.

The match was the second-straight start for RSL loanee Chris Schuler, playing 45 minutes until Monarchs coach Freddy Juarez replaced him with Dario Copeland at the start of the second half. The 27-year-old Schuler continues to rehab after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in May, playing 110 minutes for the Monarchs after going 65 in the club’s 2-1 loss at Arizona United SC on Saturday.

RSL rookie right back Boyd Okwuonu also started the match and played all 90 minutes.

The Monarchs’ next home game is July 11 against the Austin Aztex. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

Real Monarchs' Boyd Okwuonu defends against Sacramento Republic during a 1-1 draw Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Photo: Rob Gray/Monarchs Media)

Real Monarchs’ Boyd Okwuonu defends against Sacramento Republic during a 1-1 draw Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Photo: Rob Gray/Monarchs Media)

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.

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