Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders FC 2
TACOMA, Wash. – Masta Kacher scored in either half as Real Monarchs SLC extended its winning streak to four with a 3-1 victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium. The Monarchs took the lead in just the fourth minute as a low cross wasn’t dealt with by S2’s defense which allowed Jose Hernandez to lay a pass back to Kacher for a first-time finish into the top-right corner. Seattle answered in the 19th minute as a corner kick from the left deflected into the six-yard area to David Estrada, who calmly knocked home his third goal of the season. Kacher struck again in the 65th minute to restore Real’s lead as he curled home a second fine finish on the night, and while S2 went close to a quick response six minutes later when Azriel Gonzalez’s shot from 15 yards was tipped over by Monarchs goalkeeper Andrew Putna, the Monarchs put the game away with 13 minutes to go as Chandler Hoffman shot home from Sebastian Velasquez’s cutback from the left side of the penalty area.
4’ – SLC – Masta Kacher (Jose Hernandez)
19’ – SEA – David Estrada
65’ – SLC – Masta Kacher (Ricky Lopez-Espin)
77’ – SLC – Chandler Hoffman (Sebastian Velasquez)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Real’s fourth consecutive win to start the season established the best start to a season in the club’s four-year history, surpassing the three-game winning streak that opened the Monarchs’ season a year ago, but also saw the side move two wins away from equaling the best start to a season in the USL’s modern era. That run will face a major test in one of the most interesting games of the regular season in a little over a week as the Monarchs visit the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a major interconference matchup, and one that on early-season form could be a potential USL Cup matchup in November.
2. The Monarchs rotated three parts of their attacking quartet from Saturday’s win against Phoenix Rising FC with only Josh Heard remaining in the starting lineup, and in his second start of the season Masta Kacher produced a pair of great finishes to make his first major impression for his new side. The 22-year-old Canadian arrived this offseason from Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC having produced some highlight reel moments in the 2017 season, and both of his tallies on Wednesday night picked out the right corner with crisp finishes to lead the Monarchs to a solid road victory.
3. S2 suffered its fourth consecutive defeat despite doing a lot of things well, with the hosts showing a high compete level in midfield and the ability to get into good positions against a strong Monarchs side. The difference between the sides was evident in the attacking third, however, where S2 couldn’t connect consistently enough to create scoring chances as the hosts recorded only four key passes compared to the Monarchs’ eight, which ended up resulting in the difference on the scoreboard. Seattle hosts Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night and will be hoping those connections start to arrive to give its forward line cleaner looks on goal.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Masta Kacher, Real Monarchs SLC – Kacher scored the opening two goals of the night for the Monarchs, his first two tallies for the club, to lead the visitors to a fourth consecutive win to start the season.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – April 14, 8 p.m. ET, Cheney Stadium
Real Monarchs SLC at Tampa Bay Rowdies – April 21, 7:30 p.m. ET, Al Lang Stadium