Sporting KC II (7-6-2, 23 points) suffered a 1-0 loss on the road to Real Monarchs (2-12-2, 8 points) at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday night. An even match with both teams unable to make the most of their chances took a turn when Paul Atta Agyei was sent off with a second yellow in the 65th. Benjamin Rodriguez would go on to find the match winner for the hosts in the third minute of second half stoppage time.
The SKC II starting XI went untouched from the 2-0 win at Colorado Rapids 2 a week prior. Kendall McIntosh was the lone SKC II loanee and made six saves on the night to keep SKC II in the contest.
The SKC II keeper made his first appearance early, sliding in the box to dispossess a Real Monarchs runner in the fourth minute. On the other side of the pitch, the visitor's first attack saw forward Rauf Salifu split the defense and slide Josh Coan into the box. After a deflection, the ball rolled out wide and was sent just over the goal.
Just before the 10th minute, Real Monarchs nearly found the first with a wild sequence in the box. After an errant clearance, the ball bounced to the box of the box and was whiffed on in an attempted half volley. The SKC II backline collected themselves and played the ball upfield.
Moments later a lethal cross floats too close to McIntosh for comfort forcing the keeper to smack the ball away with a punch. The hosts collect the loose ball and put a shot on target which the SKC II keeper handled easily. In the 20th McIntosh made a similar save, saving a shot sent to the middle of the goal with a two-handed snag.
SKC II's attack tried to get going with a run from the backline. Joseph Addo Tetteh dashed all the way from midfield, into the area and fired a shot that was deflected out for a corner. Gavin Beavers, the Real Monarchs goaltender, caught the ensuing corner.
The first half saw multiple stretches of slowed play as SKC II dominated possession but was unable to crack the Monarch backline. In the 37th Coan sent a promising service into the area that was caught by Beavers. Two minutes later a one-touch shot at the top of the box was sent high of the target.
The final, most nervy Monarch attack of the first half came off a McIntosh save. The ball rolled backward and was cleared off the goal line at the last second. The corner was headed into the goal a moment later but was called off due to a foul at the top of the box.
Agyei and TJ Fatah entered as halftime substitutes with the former receiving a yellow card in the 46th minute. Neither team generated anything promising for the first 10 minutes. An SKC II corner was lofted over the box and headed out for a goal kick before a Real Monarchs shot floated over the bar.
McIntosh made one of his more difficult saves of the night, diving to block a shot and then falling on the loose ball before it could be hit back on target. Cole McLagan headed a restart inches past the goal in the 61st before the course of the match changed.
In the 64th Agyei was whistled for a second yellow forcing SKC II to play down a man for the remainder of the contest. Real did not take advantage of their man advantage for quite some time. In the 73rd a rolled through ball found Axel Kei in the box. McIntosh was having none of it as he corralled the ball off Kei's foot with a brilliant slide tackle.
Ten minutes later McIntosh made his fifth save of the night, denying the hosts a goal with a one-v-one charge save on the doorstep. Coby Jones, who entered just minutes before, put the Real Monarchs defense under pressure with a run, forcing an errant clearance. Curtez Kellman unloaded a shot that was blocked and we entered the final moments of the match.
The lone goal came with one of the final kicks of the night. A shot from a tough angle was touched aside by McIntosh, ricocheted off the post and was put into the back of the net by Benjamin Rodriguez. Real Monarchs were able to hold onto the lead and took home the win.
SKC II's four-match road win streak came to a close with the loss. They will face Tacoma Defiance at home on Friday, July 22 in their first of four home matches at Swope Soccer Village to close out the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season. Tickets for the match can be purchased at SeatGeek.com and the match can be streamed for free at MLSNEXTPro.com.
2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 16 Zions Bank Stadium | Herriman, UT Weather: 93 degrees and sunny
Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Mikey Lenis (TJ Fatah 45' (Coby Jones 76')), Cole McLagan, Esai Easley, Joseph Addo Tetteh (Paul Atta Agyei 45'); Kaveh Rad, Curtez Kellman, Collin Fernandez; Josh Coan, Rauf Salifu, Julian Vazquez (Spencer Glass 87')
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Bakary Bagayoko, Edgar Bazan, Nati Clark, Cade Thomson
Real Monarchs: Gavin Beavers; Bret Halsey, Jaziel Orozco, Golden Mafwenta, Marcus Vazquez (Abokye Bikyeombe 70'); Leo Torres (Pierre Reedy 70'), Christian Nydegger, Pedro Fonseca; Benjamin Rodriguez, Axel Kei, Terron Williams Subs Not Used: Blake Kelly, Julio Benitez, Jude Wellings, Yekeson Subah
Scoring Summary: RM - Benjamin Rodriguez 1 (unassisted)
Misconduct Summary: RM - Bret Halsey (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 27' RM - Jaziel Orozco (yellow card; delaying a restart) 45+1' SKC - Paul Atta Agyei (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 46' RM - Christian Nydegger (yellow card; dissent) 53'SKC - Paul Atta Agyei (red card (second yellow); unsporting conduct) 65'
Referee: Joseph Salinas Assistant Referee: John Krill* Assistant Referee:* Joshua Mills Fourth Official: Jordan Downs