Sacramento Republic FC are home after a three-match road trip to the Midwest. The squad will be hoping to continue their good form at home as they host Portland Timbers 2. Republic FC are undefeated at home all-time against T2, while the visitors have not yet seen their first win this season.
Ahead of the season opener, get to know Portland Timbers 2.
Timbers 2 is led by Head Coach Andrew Gregor. This is Gregor’s second season in charge of T2, having taken over at the start of last season. The Portland native also previously coached the Timbers Academy U-16 and U-18 teams and served as assistant coach to former T2 Head Coach Jay Vidovich during club’s inaugural season.
Gregor himself played for the Portland Timbers during their time in the former USL First Division. Aside with the Portland Timbers in the USL First Division, Gregor also spent time in the MLS with Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards during his 12-year playing career.
T2 is owned and operated by MLS club Portland Timbers. Several Timbers players have passed through the ranks of T2 on loan or prior to signing with the MLS side. Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who was loaned to Republic FC in 2014, played with T2 for the majority of the 2015 USL season before being called back up to the Timbers.
In their last match, T2 had eight loan players from the Timbers on their roster: Jeff Attinella,Victor Arboleda, Chance Myers, Amobi Okugo, Zarek Valentin, Jeremy Ebobisse, Kendall McIntosh and Jack Barmby.
Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, on loan from the Timbers, earned himself USL Team of the Week honors in Week 2 for his 13 saves against Swope Park Rangers. The 23-year-old keeper leads the USL in saves with 21. This is McIntosh’s second season with T2. Last season, the rookie keeper made 18 appearances, all starts. McIntosh led T2 keepers in shutouts with four on the season. His stellar year between the pipes at T2 paid off, with McIntosh signing a contract with T2’s MLS affiliate Portland Timbers on Jan. 12, 2017. Before turning pro, the Santa Rosa, Calif. native was a member of the San Jose Earthquakes Academy, going on to play collegiately at Santa Clara University. In 2015, McIntosh helped lead the Broncos to a West Coast Conference Championship and was named WCC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year.
Villyan Bijev leads the club in minutes played this season, having played all 450 minutes in five appearances. The Bulgarian midfielder has scored one of T2’s three goals in the 2017 USL season. Last season, Bijev led T2 in attack, with 10 assists and eight goals [ER1] on the season. Prior to joining T2, Bijev spent part of his formative years in the Liverpool FC Academy from 2011-2014. He also played in Germany and Bulgaria.
Forward Augustine Williams has been T2’s standout in attack this season, scoring two goals in his five appearances. Williams joined T2 towards the end of the season last year in August and went on to record three goals and record an assist in 11 appearances. The 19-year-old forward was born in Sierra Leone, but moved to the U.S. as a teenager and made his way through the ranks of the U.S. Development Academy, with his most recent club before turning pro being Nomads SC U-17/18.
This season, T2 made the switch to Providence Park, having played at University of Portland’s Merlo Field in previous seasons. With the switch, Providence Park now is the home to three Portland soccer team, the Timbers (MLS), the Thorns (NWSL) and T2. The stadium holds 21,144 fans.
T2 just missed the 2016 Western Conference playoffs after a comeback late in the season. The 2016 season started off similar to this season for the club, with T2 racking up four losses in five matches. T2 also had an eight-match winless streak from Jun. 11 through Aug. 3, but despite the long streaks, the club made a challenge for the final spot in the 2016 Western Conference playoffs. T2 just missed out after tying Orange County SC (then Orange County Blues FC) in points, but conceding the last spot on the goal differential tie breaker. Although it was not enough to clinch a spot in the playoffs, T2 did finish the season on a five-match win streak, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three goals in those final five matches.
In their last match, T2 fell 1-0 at the hands of Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. T2 has yet to record a victory in 2017, having suffered narrow defeats in their five matches, including against WFC2. Despite the defeats, T2 has fought in every match, posting 16 shots over WFC2’s nine in their last match. All of T2’s defeats this season have been by a single goal.
Saturday’s match between Republic FC and Timbers 2, presented by UC Davis Health, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com and at least 100 tickets will be available for walkup purchase on the day of the match. The match will be broadcast live on CW31 and on Sports 1140 KHTK. Fans can also watch the live stream at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide. Updates will be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvPOR.