Sacramento Republic FC has separate affiliate agreements between the Portland Timbers and the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS), making Republic FC the official USL PRO affiliate to both MLS clubs. Republic FC is the first and only USL PRO club to be affiliated with not one, but two MLS clubs.
Each respective affiliate agreement between the Timbers, Earthquakes and Republic FC encompasses multiple strategic elements including but not limited to player development. Opportunities will also exist in the 2014 season for organized “road trips” providing Sacramento fans to experience an MLS match at either Portland or San Jose.
In addition to providing loan opportunities for select players, Rod Underwood, an assistant coach for the Timbers Academy and Timbers U-23s and a longtime professional coach, will join the coaching staff of Republic FC as an assistant coach to Head Coach Preki.
The Timbers and Earthquakes annually will loan a minimum of two players to Republic FC for the entire USL PRO season to further aid in player development, but will retain the ability to recall those players as needed. Each MLS Club’s agreement with Sacramento Republic FC are one-year in duration.
On January 23, 2013 MLS and USL PRO announced a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership aimed to enhance the development of professional soccer players in North America, strengthen the competition in both leagues and establish a solid foundation for future collaboration.
Sacramento Republic FC Statement Regarding Affiliation:
“We are excited to partner with the Timbers and Earthquakes in an effort to develop talent on the field, emulate each club’s business success and to entertain our fans with the high quality talent from each club,” said Warren Smith, president of Sacramento Republic FC. “Our organization is twice blessed with the ability to learn from not one, but two MLS clubs, their experienced operating teams and engaged, passionate supporters. Each affiliate agreement provides an important part of our efforts to provide Sacramento Republic FC, as well as the entire Sacramento region, one of the most talented USL PRO clubs in the league and a MLS vision for our community.”
Portland Timbers Statement Regarding Affiliation:
“We are pleased to form an affiliation with Sacramento Republic FC for 2014,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. “This partnership allows us the ability to aid in the development of players by getting them more consistent playing time in a competitive environment, while helping Republic FC strive for success on the field.”
San Jose Earthquakes Statement Regarding Affiliation:
“We are excited to team up with Republic FC as our USL PRO affiliate,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “Establishing a USL PRO affiliation is a critical step in our continued investment in player development that includes our Academy, our PDL team, and our homegrown player efforts. Beyond the player development benefits, we feel that it is important to help develop professional soccer in Sacramento with an eye to eventually making it a home of its very own MLS team.”