They were made to work hard for it by expansion team Reno 1868, but the USL record for consecutive wins belongs to Real Monarchs SLC.
Andrew Brody and Taylor Peay scored the
goals from Sebastian Velasquez assists and the Monarchs survived a last-minute assault led by the opposing goalkeeper to post the historic 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium. The previous record
of eight was set by Orlando City in 2014, its last USL season prior to a move into MLS.
After Brody’s goal opened the scoring, Antoine Hoppenot replied with a sharp low
finish to tie the game, 1-1. Real regained the lead just before halftime with Peay’s powerful header from a Velasquez corner kick.
A pair of sharp saves by Lalo Fernandez
kept Real in front but twice in stoppage time he was nearly beaten by counterpart Andrew Tarbell, who on Wednesday had helped parent club San Jose defeat San Francisco Deltas of the NASL, 2-0,
in the U.S. Open Cup. A ball bounced to Tarbell during a scramble and he blasted it off the crossbar, and in the final seconds an offside call nullified his goal from a long throw-in.
Real’s remarkable run has swept it to the top of the Western Conference with a record of 12-1-0 (36 points). The defeat ended a seven-game unbeaten streak for Reno 1868, yet the expansion team
is 5-4-3 (18 points) and a solid playoff prospect in fifth place.
SAN ANTONIO STAYS CLOSE. Right on the heels of the Monarchs is San Antonio FC, the league’s only unbeaten team (10-0-4, 34 points),
the last team to beat Reno 1868 on April 15, and a 3-1 winner over Tulsa Roughnecks in front of 7,376 fans at Toyota Field.
Despite its record, SAFC had been struggling offensively, with
just three goals in its previous six games. But it got off the mark quickly and took a 2-0 halftime lead on a pair of goals by Kris Tyrpak and tacked on a thirdby Devin Vega.
Tyrpak poked home his first goal while falling to the ground under a challenge and after an equalizer by Joaquin Rivas, volleyed a flicked header from Aly Hassan inside the post for
The goal by Rivas snapped an impressive shutout streak compiled by SAFC. It had not conceded a goal in 672 minutes. The league record of 758 minutes was set by Rio Grande
Valley FC last year.
Vega secured the victory by pushing the ball at the Tulsa defense and firing home his second goal of the season after the ball had deflected to him off a defender.
Tulsa has lost four of its last five games and is 11th in the Western Conference at 5-7-0 (15 points). It and Real Monarchs SLC are the only teams that haven’t tied a game this
LEADS A WAVE OF BIG CROWDS. Paced by another big crowd (21,074) to see FC Cincinnati, which played a thrilling 2-2 tie with Charleston, the USL drew more than 70,000 fans for its 12 league
games last weekend.
Three days after drawing 30,160 fans for a 1-0 defeat of Columbus in the U.S. Open Cup, FC Cincinnati needed a sensational strike from Andrew Weideman in the
80th minute to get the point. Cincy had squandered a 1-0 lead provided in the fourth minute when HarrisonDelbridge squared a free kick from Aodhan Quinn and Djiby Fall
tallied his seventh goal of the season.
The Battery needed nearly an hour of play to reply, but the Eastern-Conference leader struck twice in seven minutes to grab the lead. Romario
Williams tucked home a low feed from Ricky Garbanzo to tie it, and then Forrest Lasso cashed in a long throw-in from O’BrianWoodbine that had been flicked on by
Neveal Hackshaw. Charleston (8-2-4, 28 points) leads the Eastern Conference by three points but has played two more games than second-place Louisville City FC (7-1-4, 25 points), which
beat Pittsburgh, 3-0, for its fourth win in the last five games. FC Cincinnati is seventh at 4-5-5 (17 points).
Other big crowds were posted by Sacramento Republic (11,569), Louisville
City (8,700), and Rio Grande Valley (8,656).
USL Leading Scorers: G PLAYER TEAM 12 Dane Kelly (Reno)
11 Romario Williams (Charleston) 8 Chandler Hoffman (Real Monarchs) 7 Brandon Allen (NY Red Bulls II) 7 Seku Conneh (Bethlehem Steel) 7 Djiby Fall (FC Cincinnati) 6
Georgi Hristov (Tampa Bay) 6 Corey Hertzog (Pittsburgh) 6 Billy Forbes (San Antonio FC) 6 Sebastian Velasquez (Real Monarchs)