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Real Monarchs Capture First Victory of 2024 with 2-1 Triumph Over Minnesota United 2

Real Monarchs Announce 2023 Preseason Roster

March 28, 2024 – MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Real Monarchs News Release

HERRIMAN, Utah – Real Monarchs (1-1-1, 5 pts) defeated a shorthanded Minnesota United 2 squad 2-1 with a pair of Zavier Gozo goals, the first brace of his professional career, after a Minnesota defender received a red card only two minutes into the affair.

The complexion of the game radically shifted only two minutes into the contest when Gozo beat out Minnesota’s Tamer Ibsais to a through ball over the top and was brought down from behind with only the goalkeeper to beat. With a man advantage, Monarchs shifted their playstyle to support more aggressive attacking moves, defending out of a fluid 4-2-3-1 but shifting to a 3-4-3 in attack, with an emphasis on overlapping outside play. One such overlapping player, Tommy Silva, created the first concrete chance for Monarchs in the 14th minute of play. Jumping in front of his mark to intercept a ball played wide, Silva raced up the pitch in a two-on-one scenario alongside Daron Iskendarian, laying it off to his teammate for a close-range shot that just barely cleared the bar.

Despite the man advantage, Minnesota was able to threaten Monarchs on multiple occasions, culminating in a goal against the run of play in the 21st minute to take a 1-0 lead. Playing a long, direct ball over the top, Carlos Harvey found Ekoue Mesanvi one-on-one in the box, striking a cross-body shot past Monarchs ‘keeper Fernando Delgado and into the left corner of the goal.

Pushing for an equalizer, Bell found Noel Caliskan deep in the left side of the box in the 39th minute, faking a shot to beat his defender and then shooting from nearly point-blank range. The strike was deflected upwards and fell directly to the feet of Gozo, who calmly finished the chance to equalize the match at one-a-piece and secure the first brace of his professional career.

As Monarchs seemingly composed themselves at halftime, they came out for the second 45 dominating possession and pushing high up the pitch, finally breaking through in the 60th minute to claim a lead. Slowly building up along the left side, a ball was played over the top for Tommy Silva who promptly whipped a ball to Iskendarian in the center of the box. Marked, Iskendarian showed his composure as he calmly played back to Gozo who promptly deposited the scoring chance with an off-speed shot.

Brimming with confidence from securing the advantage, Monarchs controlled the remainder of the match as it became increasingly physical…

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