Photo courtesy Rich Lam / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
LANGLEY, B.C. – Real Monarchs SLC took its sixth consecutive victory, setting a club record, as it earned a 2-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park on Sunday afternoon. The Monarchs (9-1-0, 27pts) grabbed an early lead as a corner from the left by Charlie Adams found Nick Besler at the far post, and his header back across goal was nodded home by Taylor Peay. The visitors then almost made it two less than 10 minutes in as Chandler Hoffman’s cross from the left was volleyed off the crossbar by Andrew Brody, with Sebastian Velasquez’s effort on the rebound being turned over by WFC2 goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi. Another corner brought another goal in the 22nd minute, though, as Adams found Besler for a stooping header at the back post with his cross from the left. Vancouver (3-5-2, 11pts) found a foothold in the game in the second half as Nazeem Bartman came on and had a positive influence in attack. WFC2 pulled a goal back with 12 minutes to go when Terran Campbell stabbed home Nicolas Apostol’s cross from the right, and Apostol was involved again as he found Bartman for a volley that went over with five minutes to go, but the Monarchs held on to claim all three points.
6’ – SLC – Taylor Peay
22’ – SLC – Nick Besler (Charlie Adams)
78’ – VAN – Terran Campbell (Nicolas Apostol)
Three Things That Matter:
1. It might be hard to argue the Monarchs’ first half wasn’t the most dominant in the USL so far this season. While the halftime break arrived with the side up 2-0, the Monarchs had by that point outshot its hosts 15-0, including a 7-0 advantage in shots on target, and if not for a stellar display by Paolo Tornaghi in the Vancouver goal could have been much further ahead. But the Monarchs relented somewhat to start the second half and the game began to even out, and it almost cost them. WFC2’s goal with 12 minutes to go caused some nerves, as did late chances that included Nazeem Bartman’s volley over from close range with five minutes to go. The Monarchs held on, however, to ensure their first half efforts didn’t go to waste.
2. The opening half offered a look at the different ways the Monarchs have been hurting teams in their six-game winning streak, with the side unlucky not to convert from open play as Andrew Brody hit the left post off a great near-post cross by Chandler Hoffman, and both Sebastian Velasquez and Daniel Haber forcing good saves from Tornaghi. The Monarchs ability to get in behind the WFC2 defense ended up setting up the set pieces that decided the game, however, with Charlie Adams’ excellent deliveries twice finding Nick Besler – once for a knock-back assist for Taylor Peay, the other for a goal himself. Adams’ arrival late last season at Real heralded the beginning of a new approach for the team, and the English midfielder has been central to its success this year.
3. Vancouver had been solid on home turf this season, with its only loss coming to San Antonio FC in a competitive clash at Thunderbird Stadium. On Sunday at McLeod Athletic Park, the side never seemed to get settled in the first half as the Monarchs put them on their heels from the opening whistle. When WFC2’s first shot on goal came on Terran Campbell’s goal in the 78th minute, it definitely appeared to flick on glimmer of hope, but despite a number of good half-chances in the final 10 minute Vancouver was unable to grab a point, leaving the side unable to build on a good win against Colorado Springs in its last outing.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Charlie Adams, Real Monarchs SLC – Adams’ deliveries from set pieces provided the two goals that led the Monarchs to victory, as the midfielder created seven chances overall in the contest.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Portland Timbers 2 – June 4, 5 p.m. ET, Providence Park
Real Monarchs SLC at Orange County SC – June 3, 8 p.m. ET, Orange County Great Park