Louisville City’s run atop the USL Championship is over at the hands of Real Monarchs SLC.
Despite going down a goal very early on, Real Salt Lake’s USL affiliate strolled into Kentucky and left with a 3-1 victory in the USL Championship Final over the two-time defending champions. It’s the first trophy for the Monarchs, who were founded before the 2015 season. They are also the first away team to win a USL Championship Final
Early on it looked like Louisville City would dominate the match as they scored the earliest goal in USL Championship Final history thanks to one of their main attackers. Magnus Rasmussen tapped home a low cross from inside the six yard box to put them in front in barely more than five minutes of play. The home team were in control for the next 20 minutes as well.They didn’t allow the Monarchs a sniff of the ball, let alone a chance on goal in that time.
Then Eric Holt got the Monarchs level in the 25th minute with a low shot from outside the penalty area and, as pressure from the visitors increased, they would go in front before halftime. Konrad Plewa put home a header from point blank range in the 45th minute to give his side the lead going into the break.
Louisville kept with their possession game early in the second half, but it was the counter attacking prowess of the Monarchs that found another goal in the 66th minute. After a couple of breakaway chances came up empty, Noah Powder scored just his third goal of 2019 with a well placed shot at the far post after Louisville’s defense failed to close him down on the edge of the penalty area.
The Monarchs were more than happy to play defense for the remaining 24 minutes plus stoppage time and were able to hold Louisville without a goal. That isn’t to say the home team didn’t try to score. There was a shot for handball in the box in the 74th minute, David Ochoa had to make a fantastic save off a corner in the 77th minute, and overall Louisville just peppered the Monarchs goal with shots.
The win gives the Monarchs their first trophy and the first championship for RSL’s system since they won MLS Cup in 2009.