Wednesday, May 14, 2008

USL soccer: Monarchs don’t rule on foreign soil

Real Maryland drops two on the road

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When it rains, it pours. That might be the most fitting description for the first month of Real Maryland’s debut season in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division: literally at first, figuratively of late.

The Monarchs’ first two games of the season were marred by torrential downpours at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds. Recently, it hasn’t been the weather that’s put a damper on Real Maryland’s opening season, it’s been their inability to finish in front of goal.

In two consecutive road losses, the team has failed to find the net. In a rematch of Real’s franchise debut against the Western Massachusetts Pioneers, it fell 1-0 for the second time in two weeks. Last Saturday, the Monarchs ran into a buzz saw in Cleveland City, where the undefeated Stars ousted the overmatched first-year club, 4-0., dropping the club’s record to 1-3-0.

After a scoreless first half, Real Maryland allowed two goals in five minutes off misplayed long balls. Cleveland City striker Adam Ruud scored his second goal midway through the half, and the Stars added another late goal for the coup de grace.

Real opened 1-1 at home. A week after the loss to the Pioneers, the Monarchs played outstanding soccer for 89-plus minutes against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, with goals from forward William Brindley and former Major League Soccer standout midfielder Ronald Cerritos. But just as the game was reaching its culmination, loud bolts of thunder and lightning caused officials to postpone the action for 30 minutes, and when the rain proved relentless, the game was called, giving the Monarchs the win.

The Monarchs head back to the (sometimes) friendly confines of the Maryland SoccerPlex this Saturday for a rematch with the Stars at 7:30 p.m.