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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Rio Grande Valley FC Toros

By Eddie Ralph, 06/20/17, 9:30AM PDT

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June 21, 2017; 8:00 p.m. PDT Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC host Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Wednesday, Jun. 21.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets to the match are available at Ticketmaster.com. The match will be broadcast on ESPN3.

This is the second of three meetings between Republic FC and Rio Grande Valley FC Toros this season. The pair played to a scoreless draw in their first meeting on Jun. 3 at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Republic FC hold a slight advantage in the all-time series with a record of 1-0-2.   

Republic FC enter the match following a 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday, Jun. 17.  The win was Republic FC’s second straight in all competitions. Goals from Sammy Ochoa and Agustin Cazarez added to Republic FC’s total of 17 goals in their last eight all-competition matches.

Cazarez recorded a goal for the second straight match when he scored the match-winning goal in the 74th minute on Saturday.  The midfielder had never previously scored in back-to-back matches, nor had he scored more than a single goal in a season. 

Ochoa scored his fifth USL goal of the season on Saturday.  The forward leads Republic FC in goals and is tied with Danny Barrera for the club lead in assists (3). The forward is now on pace to score 12 goals and record seven assists on the season, a season that would surpass his best USL season.

Defender Emrah Klimenta made his 100th career appearance for Republic FC on Saturday.  Klimenta is the first Republic FC player to reach the mark.  The defender was signed from an open tryout prior to the start of Republic FC inaugural season in 2014.  Klimenta leads the club in all-competition appearances (100), starts (93), minutes (8,401) as well as USL appearances (77), starts (73) and minutes (6,591).

The Toros come into the match following a 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II on Saturday, Jun. 17.  Rio Grande Valley has now won just one of their last five matches, including both of their draws in the 2017 season. 

Rio Grande Valley have been a very strong defensive team this season, allowing just 10 goals in 12 matches and trailing only San Antonio FC in least goals allowed in the Western Conference.   The Toros have allowed more than one goal in a match just once, a 3-2 loss against Reno 1868 FC on Jun. 7.

Midfielder Eric Bird has been an important member of the Toros’ offense, scoring two goals, recording two assists and creating 10 chances.  Bird leads the club in assists and is second in both goals and chances created.

Tickets to the match are still available at Ticketmaster.com.  100 tickets will also be available at the Papa Murphy’s Park Box Office before the match.  The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. and is located at the West Gate of Papa Murphy’s Park.

The match will be broadcast on ESPN3 and will only be streamed live on YouTube.com/USL for international viewers. Updates of the match will be also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvRGV.