It's not enemy action this weekend, but the Timbers 2 do face a familiar opponent: Real Monarchs SLC. Tonight will be the third meeting between the sides this season with T2 getting the better of the results in the previous two contests. And hopefully there won't be any crazy weather going on either.
T2 (3-3-1, 10 pts) did not get to play in Colorado last weekend. Heavy rain, wind, hail, and a tornado warning put the kibosh on the evening's proceedings. That match has since been rescheduled to June 10th. So make sure you make the necessary changes to your calendars.
In the meantime, we continue forward with the next road match for T2. A second visit to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. In the first visit T2 scored first, but went down a man and did well to hold on for a hard fought point. Prior to that T2 kicked off their inaugural season in style with a 3-1 defeat of the Monarchs at home.
What comes next is hopefully a win for T2. But at least they should be going into the match with the confidence that they have the ability to perform against this team. One person they will have but haven't had in the previous two matches is Will Johnson. He is still with T2 getting game minutes and was slated to play in Colorado but missed out due to the weather. Will Johnson himself went on Twitter and said this will be his final tune up match before returning to first team action. Now what first team match he will make his debut in remains to be seen, but this does open up the possibility of everything coming full circle should he be in the Starting XI vs Toronto at BMO Field next Saturday.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Excited to be coming back to my old stomping grounds for my final tune up match. Hope to see some familiar faces at the Riot! <a href="https://twitter.com/RealSaltLake">@RealSaltLake</a></p>— Will Johnson (@WillJohnson04) <a href="https://twitter.com/WillJohnson04/status/599285675737808896">May 15, 2015</a></blockquote>
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After facing the Monarchs in Utah, T2 will travel to Pontiac, Michigan to face the USL PDL team Michigan Bucks on Tuesday May 19th in the second round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Should T2 defeat the Michigan Bucks they will face the winner of the Sounders 2 vs Kitsap Pumas match. Should the Sounders 2 win they will host T2 on Wednesday May 27th. However, if the Kitsap Pumas win, T2 will get to host them on the same date.
Real Monarchs SLC
Real Monarchs SLC (1-5-2, 5pts) enter Saturday's match following a 3-2 road loss to the Austin Aztex on May 9 at House Park. Forward Max Rauhofer and midfielder Lucas Baldin tallied back-to-back goals to give Real Monarchs a 2-1 lead before conceding two goals in the final five minutes.
In addition to this most recent loss, the Monarchs lost their first match vs T2 at Merlo Field and had to settle for a draw against T2 at home in their last meeting. We should expect to see a full strength Starting XI for the Monarchs very similar to what T2 faced when they made their first visit to Utah. Right now the Monarchs are on the bottom of the western conference looking up at everyone. They are home where they have gotten their only win of the season so far with a 1-2-1 record at Rio Tinto so far. They will be looking to improve their results but hopefully T2 can spoil the party and work their way back up towards the top of the conference.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers.com/T2 and embedded in our T2 match thread
Kickoff: Saturday, May 16th, 6:00 pm pacific, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
Portland Timbers 2: 3-3-1, 10pts, 7th place in the USL Western Conference
Real Monarchs SLC: 1-5-2, 5pts, 12th place in the USL Western Conference