Rockville-Based Monarchs Thriving in Fourth Soccer Season
by Dan Greenberg
The Rockville-based soccer club is on pace for its best regular season finish in four years of existence. It is the Monarchs’ first in the Premier Developmental League, after three in the United Soccer League Second Division.
Self-relegation appears to have been the right decision. Real has surpassed its win total from 2008 and 2010 in less than half of a season, now at 4-2-2 after tying the Virginia Beach Piranhas at Richard Montgomery High on Saturday. It has never finished with a winning percentage above .500, or better than fifth in its division, but Real is second in the PDL South Atlantic Division through the weekend.
The Monarchs have done it with a preeminent community feel. Eight players on the 2011 roster have Montgomery County ties: Ian Hendrie (Potomac resident, 2008 St. Andrew’s alumnus), Julio Arjona (Germantown, Clarksburg ’10), Alex Lee (Derwood, Magruder ’09), Draymond Washington (Gaithersburg, Magruder ’09), Andy Correa (Silver Spring, Walter Johnson ’09), Ndaw Aboubacarim (Rockville), Andy Streilein (Potomac, Wootton ’08) and former classmate Ryan Gracia.
A Rockville native, Gracia has been the club’s finest player through its first eight games. The George Mason (Va.) University rising senior has twice been named to the “PDL Team of the Week” for midfield performances, last week with goals against Virginia Beach and the Northern Virginia Royals.
Real travels to Northern Virginia on Saturday and returns home for a rematch June 26.
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