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Recap: SKC II wins first road match in dominant performance at Real Monarchs

Recap

Sporting Kansas City II (2-1-1, 8 points) took home their first road win of 2023 in an impressive, all-around performance against Real Monarchs (1-3-0, 3 points) Friday night at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman Utah. In a dominant performance in which Sporting KC II possessed the ball for nearly 70% of the match, four different goal scorers found the target in the club's first clean sheet of the season.

Sebastian Cruz contributed to two of the goals, scoring the first and assisting on the last, Lucas Rosa put his hat in the ring for goal of the year, Ethan Bryant scored his first of the year and Pau Vidal found the back of the net for a third straight match. Andrew Draper added two assists to his tally giving him a team-best three on the season.

Head coach Benny Feilhaber rolled out a starting XI with no first-team loanees. On International Goalkeeper Day, Ethan Bandre had control of the back line and earned a shutout. Rosa was joined on the back four by Jahon Rad, along with Mo Abualnadi and Nati Clarke who both made their first starts. The midfield consisted of Bryant, captain Josh Coan and Enzo Mauriz while the front three was comprised of Cruz, Draper and Vidal.

Feilhaber and SKC II controlled the contest right from the start. As has become standard with the 2023 SKC II squad they scored the first goal of the match, jumping out to an early lead in the sixth minute. Draper found Cruz open in space outside the 18 and the former Sporting KC Academy player fired a rocket past Gavin Beavers from long range.

Hungry for more the visitors went back on the attack within five minutes of the opener. Draper was played through on goal and beat Beavers after the keeper got a touch on the ball. However, the offside flag went up before any celebrations could take place wiping away the lead doubler.Β 

Despite keeping the ball in the attacking third SKC II would go the remainder of the first half without another goal. Rosa and Clarke gave the host's outside backs fits throughout the first, offering up delectable service after service into the area. Rosa almost connected with Vidal in the 18th but the eventual goalscorer was denied by Beavers.Β 

Twice, Cruz came within inches of a brace with a headed attempt toward goal that awkwardly bounced into the keeper's grasp and a half volley that short-hopped into the side netting. Vidal was slipped into the 18 a minute after Cruz's near make but the forward's touch was taken away by the charging goaltender.

A little over 35 minutes into the match, Real Monarchs took their first crack at Bandre's goal. The offering was an ambitious effort off the foot of Bertin Jacquesson that was sent high and wide of the target. A trio of SKC II attacks went wanting and in stoppage time Cruz had his best look of the half float just over the top of the goal. Griffin Dillon was shown the first yellow of the match and after the home side defended the set piece the halftime whistle came.Β 

It took less than 10 minutes of play in the second for SKC II to find their second score. A free kick was cleared out to the top of the area where Rosa settled the ball with his chest, let it bounce once and ripped a scorching half-volley home.

In the 58th, Bandre stamped his name on the match, making a save with his body on the near post on a shot from a rather tight angle. A similar shot came was produced by Tyrone Mondi four minutes later that harmlessly settled in the side netting outside the goal.Β 

In the 68th minute, Feilhaber went to his bench to bring on first-team loanee Ozzie Cisneros for Josh Coan. Less than a minute later, Bryant gave SKC II their third, passing an inch-perfect pass from Draper into the backdoor of the goal.

It took just two minutes for Sporting to snag their fourth off yet another cross. This time it was the blazing Vidal, finishing off a cross from Cruz from the right side of the pitch. Vidal has now scored in three straight matches and leads SKC II with those three goals.

SKC II's back four saw the remainder of the match out, holding onto the shutout. All four goal scorers eventually were subbed off with first-teamers Jake Davis and Danny Flores making appearances as well as Mikey Lenis and Yeison Mejia. Two shots on two Monarch corners were blocked in traffic and a third was headed over the goal and onto the top netting. Later in the match, Bandre made a rather simple save, smacking a shot to the ground before securing it against his chest with ease. The final whistle came after SKC II sustained possession in the Real Monarchs half for the last moments.Β 

The win at Zions Bank Stadium gives SKC II three straight results after they drew with Austin FC II and defeated LAFC 2 at home. The group's two-match road trip will conclude at FC Cincinnati 2 next Sunday, April 23 at NKU Soccer Stadium. The match will stream for free on MLSNEXTPro.com and fans can follow @SportingKCII on Twitter for live updates throughout the match.

2023 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 4
Zions Bank Stadium | Herriman, UT
Weather: 44 degrees and cloudy

Sporting KC II 4-0 Real Monarchs
Score
1
2
F
Sporting KC II
1
3
4
Real Monarchs
0
0
0

Sporting Kansas City II: Ethan Bandre, Lucas Rosa (Jake Davis 76'), Jahon Rad, Mo Abualnadi, Nati Clarke; Enzo Mauriz, Ethan Bryant (Danny Flores 84'), Josh Coan (Ozzie Cisneros 69'); Sebastian Cruz (Yeison Mejia 76'), Pau Vidal (Mikey Lenis 84'), Andrew Draper
Subs Not Used: Carlito Saylon, Jacob Bartlett, Aljaz Dzankic

Real Monarchs: Gavin Beavers; Gennaro Nigro (Jahmani Stapleton 33'), Nicholas Nobles, Delentz Pierre, Luis Rivera; Moses Nyeman, Izahi Amparo (Duncan Jarvie 46'), Bertin Jacquesson, Griffin Dillon, Tyrone Mondi; Terron Williams
Subs Not Used: Fernando Delgado, Marcelo Mondragon, Angel Morales, Brayden Morrell, Marcus Vazquez

Scoring Summary

SKC – Sebastian Cruz 1 (Andrew Draper 2) 6'
SKC – Lucas Rosa 1 (unassisted) 54'
SKC – Ethan Bryant 1 (Andrew Draper 3) 67'
SKC – Pau Vidal 3 (Sebastian Cruz) 71'

Misconduct Summary:

SLC – Griffin Dillon (yellow card; reckless offense) 45+2'
SKC – Mo Abualnadi (yellow card; reckless offense) 81'

Match Statistics
Stat
SKC
SLC
Shots
12
1
Shots on Goal
6
2
Saves
2
2
Fouls
2
9
Offsides
1
0
Corner Kicks
4
3

Referee: Christian Campo Hernandez
Assistant Referee: Matthew Schwartz
Assistant Referee: Joshua Mills
Fourth Official: Karsten Gillwald