USL Match Preview | Portland Timbers 2 at Real Monarchs | May 16, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – T2 will travel to face fellow USL expansion side Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday, May 16, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah; kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (Pacific). Following Saturday’s game against Real Monarchs, T2 will open play in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against PDL side Michigan Bucks in a second-round match at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich., on Tuesday, May 19; kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. (Pacific).

T2 (3-3-1, 10pts) have scored nine goals in seven games this season and earned a 2-0 win over Arizona United SC on April 25 in their last road contest. Portland traveled to face Real Monarchs earlier this season, playing to a 1-1 draw on April 8 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. In the match, T2 forward Fatawu Safiu tallied an early goal to give Portland the lead, but Real Monarchs tallied an equalizing goal in the 36th minute.

Saturday’s match marks the third meeting between the two clubs this season. T2 has earned a 1-0-1 record against Real Monarchs in 2015, including a 3-1 win in T2’s inaugural match on March 29 at Merlo Field. Forward Kharlton Belmar tallied a brace in the match, including the club’s first-ever goal in USL. Belmar has scored five goals through seven matches and ranks tied for third in goals among all USL players. The Virginia Beach, Va., native also ranks fifth overall in points (10).

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. Rauhofer leads Real Monarchs with three goals this season. The loss comes immediately following the club’s first-ever victory, a 1-0 win over Sacramento Republic FC at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 29.

Should T2 defeat the Michigan Bucks in the second round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Portland would then face the winner of the second-round meeting between Seattle Sounders FC 2 and the Kitsap Pumas on May 27 at a time and location to be determined.

Saturday’s USL road match as well as Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup match will be available live online via a high-definition web stream on