North Texas SC continued its undefeated streak during May by defeating Real Monarchs by 3-0 at Zions Banks Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
Scoring opened up in the 20th minute of the game when North Texas SC recovered the ball in their half and launched a lightning-fast strike for goal. The 19-year-old Colombian Jose Mulato spearheaded the fast break and was able to hand off a pass in the box to Bernard Kamungo, who slotted the ball in the back of the net.
Although the score might say otherwise, Real Monarchs controlled most of the game, leading in total shots with 15 and owning 56% possession.
Real Monarchs had their most dangerous chance at goal come right before halftime when Tyrone Mondi received a ball near the top of the 18-yard box, cut inside to his right foot, and blasted a ball at goal. Fortunately for North Texas SC, Mondi's attempt was denied by a spectacular dive from Antonio Carrera.
The North Texas SC unrelenting press and subsequent fast breaks caused all sorts of trouble for Real Monarchs. Hope Avayevu took advantage of a stolen ball near the box to score his first goal of the season in the 56th minute.
Moments later, substitute Pablo Torre scored his second goal of the season when a deflection by Real Monarch's goalkeeper David Ochoa landed at his feet, and he was able to knock in North Texas SC's third goal of the night.
North Texas SC momentarily moves into first place in the Western Conference with 21 points with tonight's victory. North Texas will take a week off and will hit the road again on June 4th to face off against Colorado Rapids 2.
Real Monarchs will have to wait another week for their first-ever MLS NEXT Pro victory. The team from Herriman, Utah, looks more and more comfortable on the pitch but can still not have a complete performance to take home the three points. Their next opponent will be Houston Dynamo 2 on May 25th
The Story: The dynamic duo of Bernard Kamungo and Hope Avayevu
Bernard Kamungo has been on a goal-scoring tear since the start of the season, and after his performance against Real Monarchs, there looks to be no end in sight.
With his goal tonight, Kamungo has moved into a three-way tie for second place in the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot race with five goals. Something to note about Kamungo's goal scoring is that four of his five goals this season have come on the road. An impressive statistic for the 20-year-old.
While most of the praise for North Texas SC's success has gone to the frontline attack, you can't overlook Hope Avayevu's contributions to North Texas SC.
The 19-year-old currently leads MLS NEXT Pro in total assists with five this year and scored his first goal of the season against Real Monarchs. Aavayevu has also maintained an accurate passing percentage of over 80% and has an assist over 90 minutes average of .62. He's also a commanding presence in the midfield, earning 16 total tackles this season, which is good enough for second in the league.
Any team would be lucky to have a player like Kamungo or Avayevu among their ranks, and their performance tonight proves that North Texas will be a tough team to beat all season as long as both players continue their outstanding play on the field.