LOUISVILLE, KY (ABC4 Sports) – The Real Monarchs are bringing home a championship trophy.
For the third straight playoff game, the Monarchs came from behind and beat 2-time defending champion Louisville FC, to win the USL title, 3-1.
“This means everything,” said MVP Konrad Plewa, who scored the go-ahead goal. “My parents, my nephew, they’re all right there and to do it in front of them is quite surreal as I haven’t really had many games in front of them the last two years. But I wish I could hand this to the entire squad, it’s not just me, it’s everybody behind me, the whole organization, everybody is an MVP here.”
Louisville City scored early on a goal in the 6th minute by Magnus Rasmussen as the Monarchs fell in an early 1-0 hole.
But the Monarchs found the equalizer in the 25th minute as Erik Holt blasted home a shot to level the match at one.
Then just before the half, former Real Salt Lake midfielder Luke Mulholland found Plewa in the box, who headed in the go-ahead goal in the staked the Monarchs to a 2-1 lead in the 45th minute.
Louisville held nearly 65% of the first-half possession and outshot the Monarchs 6-5, but the Monarchs finished the half with five unanswered shots from the 25th minute on.
In the second half, the Monarchs found the back of the net when Noah Powder sent in a shot from the right side to claim the 3-1 lead in the 66th minute.
Both teams had chances to add to the scoreboard over the final 24 minutes, but Ochoa came up big to keep the two-goal advantage as the Monarchs sealed victory and the USL Championship title.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” said Monarchs defender Kalen Ryden. “Nobody had us in this position except for us. Nobody, nobody had us here. With this group, three games in a row, we’ve gone down a goal and we came back. That just shows everything about this team, and I’m so proud of these guys.”