Earthquakes II are preparing to host Real Monarchs on Sunday, July 31. The match will kick off from PayPal Park at 6 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com.
Following three consecutive road matches, in which Quakes II went 2-1, the club will open a three-match homestand on Sunday. Quakes II is 5-1-1 in their last seven matches and have climbed to sixth place in the Western Conference standings, just three points below the playoff line.
Earthquakes II will aim to get their second win of the season against Real Monarchs having previously defeated the Utah side 1-0 on June 17. Max Arfsten scored the match’s lone goal at the start of the second half.
With two months left in the inaugural season of MLS NEXT Pro, Quakes II head coach Dan DeGeer spoke about the league and the ongoing learning process.
“So far, I think it’s been a great start,” said DeGeer. “All the clubs in the league are learning about each other and the different competitions they face with each team. I think everyone is learning that the rosters can look different from week to week, whether you’re home or away. Regardless, they are competitive games and a good challenge for everybody.”
DeGeer must balance the importance of winning while also keeping the emphasis on player development.
“You want to find the balance.” DeGeer explained. “You obviously want to put a competitive team on the field that can win the game. Everybody has an equal opportunity to earn their minutes. If players are doing well in training and are working hard, they are going to get an opportunity.”
Real Monarchs hold a 2-12-2 record this season (8 pts.), occupying 10th place of 11 teams in the Western Conference. Coming off a 1-0 win in their last match against Sporting KC II, the Utah side will pursue back-to-back wins for the first time this year.
Quakes II forward Rodolfo Castro Jr. leads the team with six goals, including the game-winner in their last match vs. Timbers2.