Real Monarchs roll into USOC 3rd round against familiar opponent

May 27th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

In one of the biggest days in world soccer history, there is still a U.S. national tournament playing games tonight, as well as two local Salt Lake sides in action.

But if you haven’t read the New York Times piece on the U.S. Department of Justice forcing the extradition of 14 FIFA executives and other parties for prosecution on corruption charges, do so now. We’ll wait for you here.

Now that you’ve returned, it’s Open Cup time.


Real Monarchs kick off the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tonight at 7 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium, when the Real Salt Lake affiliate will host its USL rival Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.

The Monarchs will face the Switchbacks for the fourth time this year, with the two teams scheduled to face off six times in the inaugural season of USL play for both franchises.

For Monarchs forward Emery Welshman, who has MLS experience with Toronto FC and played in the Open Cup in college with the Portland Timbers’ U-23 side, the Canadian-born Guyanese international said he’s never experienced such a familiarity with one opponent.

“We know what to expect; they like to sit back and try to counter-attack us, so we can expect to have a lot of possession,” Welshman told Salt City FC. “But we’ve got to mature in the final third so we can finish games off. We know what they bring to us; they’ve got a bunch of older players, and so we’ll be ready for that. They know what we’ll bring to the table, too, but we’ll have our full roster out.”

First comes first: the Monarchs are hoping for some good weather for them and the fans who show up Wednesday night before its parent club takes on the L.A. Galaxy at 8:30 p.m. MT. Real Monarchs are planning a watch party at the stadium following their Open Cup affair.

“The forecast is always That Monarch Weather. It follows us,” midfielder Ricardo Velazco joked on Tuesday. “We’re excited to play in the Monarch weather; we’re getting used to it.”

After celebrating his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, Velazco can’t think of a better present than advancing to the fourth round of the Open Cup against the Colorado Rapids.

“Getting a result here on my birthday would be awesome,” Velazco said. “But we’ve got to take care of business, and that comes first.”

Real Monarchs have yet to win in USL play against Colorado Springs, taking a 5-2 loss on the road and a 1-0 loss at home against the Switchbacks after winning the first-ever game between the sides 1-0 during the preseason.

But the U.S. Open Cup provides a rejuvenating atmosphere for the two sides, and a chance for the Monarchs to look at the series with a clean slate.

“The U.S. Open Cup is a whole new tournament; there’s no top of the league or bottom,” Velazco said. “If you just win a game, you advance. That’s what we look forward to: just keep winning and going as far as we can.”

You can watch the match via the live stream provided by Real Monarchs SLC, which will be embedded at the link above by 7 p.m. MT.

Real Monarchs/Switchbacks FC U.S. Open Cup 3rd round match

  • Start time: 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Radio: 1 local FM radio station with Landon Southwick and Shawn Blymiller
  • Video Streaming: Real Monarchs YouTube page or Salt City FC embed
  • Online: The@RealMonarchs and @saltcityfc on Twitter.
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 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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