Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Masta Kacher and Aaron King each tallied in the opening 20 minutes as the host side defeated Real Monarchs SLC 2-1 on Saturday at Weidner Field. The Monarchs were dealt their first defeat of the season. Goalkeeper Moise Pouaty earned a victory in his debut. Kacher opened the match with a long-distance strike in the 15th minute and drew a penalty kick converted by Aaron King four minutes later. The Monarchs were dangerous in the second half, led by Sebastian Velasquez who struck in the 60th minute. Colorado Springs was able to hang on the rest of the way to improve to 2-1-2 (8 points). Real drops to 3-1-0 (9 points). The Monarchs’ Charlie Adams picked up his second caution in second-half stoppage time as they were down to 10 men in the remaining minutes.
15’ – COS – Masta Kacher (Rony Argueta)
19’ – COS – Aaron King (penalty)
60’ – SLC – Sebastian Velasquez (Charlie Adams)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Masta Kacher has already put together some highlight moments, and his right-footed rope to the upper right corner can be added to the list. Rony Argueta changed the point of attack well, finding Kacher with some space on the left. He cut to his right and picked out the upper right corner as Monarchs goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez had no chance to make a stop on that play as Colorado Springs took the 1-0 lead in the 15th minute. Veteran Aaron King coolly converted a penalty kick four minutes later, but it was Kacher who deserves the brunt of the credit for the attempt that forced Real into a handball in the box.
2. With two early goals, there were plenty of moments where the Switchbacks were in that hold-off mode as the Monarchs tried to work back their way into the match. Real’s Sebastian Velasquez, who has proven to be the most consistent offensive juggernaut, did finally find the back of the net in the 60th minute. Just how dominant was the Monarchs’ offense? They strung together 501 passes compared to Colorado Springs’ 220, and Real held 69 percent of the possession. Ultimately, their heavy work rate was unable to break through once more as the Monarchs dropped their first match of the year.
3. Switchbacks goalkeeper Moise Pouaty faced a stiff challenge in his Switchbacks debut. The 21-year-old Cameroonian was up to the task with some strong positioning and reaction to the ball. The Velasquez goal was a difficult ask to stop that perfectly placed attempt in the 60th minute. Pouaty halted Real’s momentum just a couple minutes after that Velasquez tally with a save. The Monarchs certainly could have turned the tide during stretch, but Pouaty, who ended up with four saves, helped keep the host team on top.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Masta Kacher, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Kacher carved a long-distance beauty of a goal to open the scoring and then drew the PK as Aaron King converted that attempt.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Reno 1868 FC – April 22, 10 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field
Real Monarchs SLC at Seattle Sounders FC 2 – April 22, 10 p.m. ET, Starfire Stadium