Photo courtesy Real Monarchs SLC
SANDY, Utah – Chandler Hoffman and Sebastian Velasquez each scored twice as Real Monarchs SLC took a 5-2 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, as the Monarchs earned revenge for their only defeat so far this season. Real had the better of the game early, but it was the Switchbacks that took the lead when a handball was called in the penalty area following a corner kick. Aaron King’s initial penalty kick was saved by the Monarchs’ Connor Sparrow, but Josh Suggs put home the rebound into the right corner in the 25th minute. Real got back on level terms five minutes later, though, as Daniel Haber’s low cross from the left found Hoffman, who clipped home his fifth goal of the season from close range. Hoffman almost gave the Monarchs the lead nine minutes before halftime, only for Switchbacks goalkeeper Moise Pouaty to make a good save, but Pouaty was at fault six minutes into the second half when he left his near post open and allowed Velasquez to squeeze home a finish from a narrow angle for a 2-1 lead. Velasquez’s first began a run of three goals in six minutes as Hoffman struck again in the 54th minute, redirecting another low cross by Haber to make it a two-goal lead. Velasquez then added a fourth with a low shot to the right corner three minutes later. Real was reduced to 10 men with just under half-an-hour to go when Michael Gallagher received a second yellow card, but still added to its lead with seven minutes to go as Haber added a goal to his two assists. Kevaughn Frater scored his first goal for Colorado Springs in the 87th minute against his former club, but it was nothing but a consolation on a tough night for the visitors.
25’ – COS – Josh Suggs
30’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (Daniel Haber)
51’ – SLC – Sebastian Velasquez (James Moberg)
54’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (Daniel Haber)
57’ – SLC – Sebastian Velasquez
83’ – SLC – Daniel Haber (Andrew Brody)
87’ – COS – Kevaughn Frater (Masta Kacher)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Monarchs continued to show why they’ve been the most entertaining side to watch in the USL so far this season as they romped to revenge for their only previous loss this season against their Rocky Mountain rivals. The incisiveness the Monarchs possess in the attacking third was perfectly illustrated in their run of three goals in six minutes that left a normally reliable Switchbacks defense shellshocked, with Sebastian Velasquez notching two of the goals in another standout performance that allowed Real to keep pace with San Antonio at the top of the Western Conference.
2. Colorado Springs scored the first and last goals of the game, but in-between were dominated by their hosts at Rio Tinto Stadium that leaves the side sitting in a somewhat precarious position in the Western Conference. The Switchbacks will still be in the playoff positions at the end of this weekend, but with 13 points from the club’s first 11 games – more than any other team has played so far this season – the potential for that to change in a hurry is certainly there. Head Coach Steve Trittschuh’s side needs to find its feet, particularly a defense that has conceded 19 goals now this season, if it’s to make a third consecutive postseason trip.
3. Sebastian Velasquez has been drawing the headlines for the Monarchs in recent weeks, and with another pair of goals on Saturday night was again at the fore in their victory, but another duo also played a major role as Daniel Haber and Chandler Hoffman were on the same wavelength throughout the night until Hoffman was substituted after Michael Gallagher’s sending off. Haber provided perfect low crosses, the type Hoffman finds seams in a defense to put away, on both of the standout striker’s goals to give Hoffman six for the season and once again in the race for the USL Golden Boot.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Daniel Haber, Real Monarchs SLC – Haber notched a goal and two assists as he provided outstanding play down the left flank throughout the Monarchs' eighth win this season.
Real Monarchs SLC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC – May 28, 6 p.m. ET, McLeod Athletic Park
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Reno 1868 FC – May 27, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field