It’s Matchday! New Mexico United hits the dusty trail to take on Real Monarchs SLC on Wednesday evening at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
By Sombrero Man | Photo: DosPhoto
This is match 2 of this 3-match stretch as United heads to Salt Lake City to take on a familiar opponent. United last played the Monarchs on June 4th. United took that game 1-0 off a goal from Chelo Martinez. This is a bounce-back game for New Mexico as the quick turnaround looks to help them forget about last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Head Coach Troy Lesesne said in this week’s presser that the squad would look a little different in the way he sets up the lineup.
Let’s get to talking about the Monarchs. The Monarchs are coming off a 1-1 draw to San Antonio FC in a game that they lead a good majority of. A strike by Douglas Martínez in the 39th minute sent the crowd at Zions Bank into a frenzy before the half. Despite being down San Antonio looked like the better team in the second half creating chances and capitalizing on one in particular. Justin Dhillon found the equalizer in the 77th minute on an assist from Ollie Wright. This woke up the young Monarchs’ side which looked like they would find a second goal but a strong San Antonio defense stomped out any dreams of three points as the match ended 1-1. Monarchs did win the possession battle against San Antonio 51% to 49% as well as having more shots on target (7 to San Antonio’s 6).
Players to watch for Monarchs are Sam Brown, Gavin Beavers, and Griffin Dillion. When I said this Monarchs side was young I meant it. First, let’s start with Brown. Brown is one of the “older” players in this squad, aged just 25. Brown made his professional debuts against New Mexico United in the black and yellows 5–1 victory over Monarchs in 2019. Brown will make set-pieces hard to defend with his services into the box. Beavers’ age just 16 is one of the youngest keepers in USL Championship history and held a very good San Antonio team to one goal. With Amando Moreno out on international duty, I’m very interested to see how he handles veterans like Devon Sandoval and Kalen Ryden. Lastly Griffin Dillion. Another young up-and-coming star in the Real Salt Lake organization made his first start in the last match against San Antonio. The speedster will look to become a challenge for the veterans of New Mexico.
Players to watch for United will be Ryden and Josh Suggs. Former Monarchs defender and current United defender Ryden seem to enjoy playing against his old side. The 2019 USL Defensive player of the year has scored one header already against Monarchs last year and had a good chance to make it two in the club’s last meeting. A high set piece in the box followed by a Ryden header should find the back of the net for United. Lastly Suggs. Now loyal readers of these previews are probably wondering “what!, no Alex Tambakis!!! You always mention him!” And you, that dear reader, I say yes, but Suggs is playing great soccer at the moment. The Captain has scored two goals in two straight games and has made some key midfield tackles. I expect number 3 to come in this match.
Sombrero’s Spin: United has a record of 6-1-0 against Monarchs and a record of 5-1-0 at Zions Bank Stadium. I expect the win numbers to go up by one as United wins this one 2-1 with goals by Ryden and Suggs for United and Sam Brown for Monarchs.