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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Orange County SC

By Eddie Ralph, 03/31/17, 10:30AM PDT

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April 1, 2017; 7:30 p.m. PDT Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC will host Orange County SC in their 2017 Opening Night at Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday, Apr. 1. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.  Tickets to Opening Night, presented by UC Davis Health, are still available at Ticketmaster.com.  100 tickets will also be available for walkup purchase on Opening Night as well as for every home Republic FC match this season.

The match will be a rematch of the 2016 USL Western Conference Quarterfinal meeting between the two clubs.  Orange County SC, then known as Orange County Blues FC, prevailed in penalties in the Quarterfinal matchup after 120 minutes of scoreless play.  Republic FC and Orange County SC have met 10 times in USL regular season play, with Republic FC holding a 5-3-2 record all-time.  In 2016, Republic FC won the season series 2-1-1, including winning the final two regular season matchups over Orange County.

Republic FC enter the match after extending their USL unbeaten streak to 12 consecutive regular season matches with a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Sunday, Mar. 26.  During the 12-match unbeaten streak, Republic FC have won seven matches, including their last two regular season matches.  Republic FC have outscored their opponents 21-8 during the streak.

Forward Sammy Ochoa was a big part of Republic FC’s victory over S2 on Sunday, scoring a goal and adding an assist.  Ochoa, the leading scorer and assist man for Tulsa Roughnecks FC in 2016, started both accounts early for Republic FC, proving to be a reliable leader at the front of Republic FC’s attack.

Defender Emrah Klimenta returned to USL action for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left knee against S2 on July 2, 2016.  Klimenta scored the match-winning goal against S2 on Sunday, a right footed strike that capped off a series of shots on the S2 goal.  Klimenta was a second-half substitute in the match as he is still on minute restrictions as a part of his rehab.

Orange County enter the match following a 2-0 win over Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, Mar. 25.  The match was the second straight USL regular season victory for Orange County and the third win in their last four regular season matches.  In that time Orange County has outscored opponents 8-1.

Forward Duke Lacroix joined Orange County SC in the offseason following two years with the Indy Eleven (NASL).  Lacroix wasted no time getting on the scorecard for Orange County scoring twice against Reno, once in the 31st and then again in stoppage time right before halftime.  Lacroix scored two goals and added two assists in 936 minutes over 23 matches with Indy Eleven in 2016.

Orange County had a lot of change to their roster in the offseason including the additions of USL veterans Charlie Lyon, Oscar Sorto, Joe Franco and Carlos Alvarez.  Lyon joined the club from S2, Sorto and Franco have both spent time with LA Galaxy II while Alvarez joins Orange County on loan from their MLS affiliate LAFC. Alvarez spent the 2016 season with San Antonio FC.

Tickets for Opening Night are still available at Ticketmaster.com. 100 tickets will also be available for walkup purchase on Opening Night as for every home Republic FC match this season. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide. Updates of the match will be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvOC