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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs LA Galaxy II

By Eddie Ralph, 09/15/17, 9:30AM PDT

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September 16, 2017; 7:30 p.m. PDT Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC return home when they host their So Cal rival LA Galaxy II on Saturday, Sept. 16.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park. Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com. At least 100 tickets will also be available for walkup purchase.

The match is the second of two meetings between Republic FC and LA Galaxy II this season.  Republic FC won the only other matchup this season, a 3-2 road victory on Jun. 25.  Republic FC are 7-2-4 all-time against Los Dos in USL regular season matches.

Republic FC enter the match after earning a win over Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday, Sept. 9, thanks to a last-second goal by Carlos Rodriguez. The match snapped a four-match winless streak for Republic FC and helped them get closer to a playoff berth.

The goal was the first of the season for Rodriguez and his first USL goal since joining Republic FC.  Rodriguez was subbed on just a minute before scoring the match-winning goal on a corner by James Kiffe.   The assist was the fourth of the season for Kiffe, moving him into a tie with Wilson Kneeshaw and Danny Barrera for second place on the club.

Midfielder Villyan Bijev scored Republic FC’s first goal against the Toros.  The goal was his first as a member of Republic FC and his eighth USL goal of the season, after scoring seven with Portland Timbers 2 prior to joining Republic FC. Bijev is now tied for the seventh most goals this season in the USL Western Conference.

Republic FC signed midfielder Luis Espino on Thursday, Sept. 14.  Saturday’s match will be the first for Espino, a former Atlas FC and CESIFUT Academy youth player.  Espino and Rodriguez were both part of the CESIFUT Academy in Torreón, Mexico.  The midfielder is expected to help replace the creative void left by the injury to Barrera earlier this season.

Los Dos come into the match following a 1-1 draw with San Antonio FC on Sept. 9.  Los Dos have been an up and down team lately, going 2-2-1 in their last five matches, including wins over Rio Grande Valley FC Toros and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.

Forward Justin Dhillon has been an important member of Los Dos this season, scoring a club-leading six goals, while recording two assists on the season.  Dhillon was a standout at Cal Poly, scoring 15 goals and recording 12 assists in four seasons with the Mustangs.  The forward was a member of the LA Galaxy Academy prior to joining Cal Poly.

Los Dos have also seen an influx of former starters returning from the first team with names like Jack McBean, Ariel Lassiter, Raul Mendiola and Rafael Garcia spending time in the USL recently.  Many of these players have featured prominently in past matches against Republic FC including Lassiter who has scored four goals and added an assist against Republic FC over the last three years.

Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com and at least 100 tickets will also be available for walkup purchase.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide and in the USL Match Center. Updates of the match will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvLA.